Who Are We? Project
Who Are We? Project
14 - 19 March Tate Exchange

Alternative facts and immigration: fake it until you make it?
Mar
18
2:30pm 2:30pm

Alternative facts and immigration: fake it until you make it?

Alternative facts and immigration: fake it until you make it?

Saturday 18th March, 2.45-4.45, Southwark Room, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern 5th Floor

Political propaganda is not new. With migration, it's a world of shadowing boxing. 'They're coming to take your jobs', 'We can't help them', 'Health tourists!', 'Let's get tough'. Recently, government policy in the UK and elsewhere has been about shaping what people think about what is happening not shaping what actually happens. In the UK, the focus on being tough on immigration has smothered debate on whether immigration is good, bad or inevitable, or whether policies will make any difference at all to a world on the move. Media discussion of immigration has amplified problems and occasionally celebrated exceptional individuals, but how far does this reflect everyday realities?

In this workspace, academic researchers, artists and activists will work with YOU to shape the news headlines. We will uncover ‘facts’ about immigration (based on research, not conversations half-overheard by a Trump adviser) and views rarely given space in the mainstream media. Together we will develop a newspaper edition that engages with seldom-heard realities of immigration and its control. Come and learn more about immigration and the immigration control industry. Share your thoughts, hopes and dreams. Get creative in faking news that will make people look at the world in the new way.

There There is a 50% Romanian 50% Serbian performance company, founded in London by Dana Olărescu and Bojana Janković. Our work explores topics that emerge at the intersection of personal experiences and big-picture policy and politics, including immigration, immigrant and national identities. Our practice spans performances, installations, interventions, audience development and research.

Mapping Immigration Controversy is a collective of eight academic researchers based at 6 universities (Warwick (Hannah Jones), Goldsmiths (Yasmin Gunaratnam, Emma Jackson, William Davies), Bedfordshire (Sukhwant Dhaliwal), Birmingham City (Kirsten Forkert), East London (Gargi Bhattacharyya), and South Wales (Roiyah Saltus)). Following the Home Office ‘Go Home’ van campaign of 2013, we conducted research into the effects of government communications about immigration control on everyday lives in England, Scotland and Wales. Our book based on this research, Go Home? The politics of immigration control, will be published by Manchester University Press in April 2017.

 Participation in this workspace is free and open to all, but due to limited space please reserve a place at www.alt-migration.eventbrite.co.uk and please let us know if you have any special access requirements at the time of booking.

View Event →
Learning Lab: How To Do Rights With Things: Art and Politics
Mar
18
12:00pm12:00pm

Learning Lab: How To Do Rights With Things: Art and Politics

We citizens should pay attention to the artists and push back against politicians who are trying to hold us back into 19th Century fantasies about who “we” are. (Francois Crepeau, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants)        

Who Are We? is a jam-packed week of installations, performances and  workshops - exploring the contested terrain of rights, migration, identity, citizenship, belonging and displacement. At the end of this fairly full-on week, Learning Lab explores how artists are currently navigating the everyday reality of rights, alongside and in collaboration with audiences and publics.  How are rights performed and activated through the arts? How are rights enacted through the  materiality of things, bodies, sound, and movement? How can art and civic activism be forged in creative collaboration with advocacy and academia? To what end? Where are the critical fault lines? Who is safeguarding the rights of those artists who are putting their bodies on the line, persistently posing and proposing tough questions in what are tumultuous and precarious times?

Join us for Learning Lab to round up and reflect on a week of creative exchange and public engagement. Learning Lab will take the form of an open table with a range of contributors - including artists,  activists, academics and voices from the field of advocacy.  

To register contact dijana@counterpointsarts.org.uk

This Learning Lab is coordinated by Lizzy Willmington.

Moderator: Áine O'Brien, Counterpoints Arts

 

 

 

 

 

  

View Event →
Tracing and Citizen Sensing Laboratory
Mar
16
1:00pm 1:00pm

Tracing and Citizen Sensing Laboratory

During this workshop we will explore the question, ‘Who Are We?’ through an investigation of human and nonhuman migrations and ways of tracing these movements. Developed along with a week-long participatory laboratory on citizen sensing at the Tate Exchange 'Who Are We?'programme, the workshop will especially focus on the movements of the European eel, an organism that makes its migrations through the River Thames, across Europe, and to the Sargasso Sea. We will ask how events such as climate change are influencing nonhuman migrations, and we will explore ways in which eel journeys are traced across multiple environments.

We will engage with the Tracing and Tracing 2.0 materials developed by artist, Antti Tenetz, in collaboration with the Citizen Sense research group. We will also undertake a walk and exploration of the River Thames, as we connect movements and tracings of eels with local culture and trade, as well as environmental histories and futures.

Participation in this workshop is free and open to the public but booking is essential. Please book here at Citizen Sense.  Bring sturdy footwear for the walk, and notify us if you have any access requirements.

Citizen Sense is a European Research Council (ERC) funded project based at Goldsmiths, University of London, and is led by Jennifer Gabrys, working in collaboration with Helen Pritchard and Lara Houston. This Citizen Sense event is also held in relation to the ERC's 10th Anniversary week-long set of events across Europe and the world.

 

View Event →
Peopling Europe Through Data
Mar
16
11:00am11:00am

Peopling Europe Through Data

Workshop: Peopling Europe Through Data

The workshop is organised in relation to the installation ‘How do we know who we are?’, a collaboration between Dawid Górny, a programmer and interaction designer, and Evelyn Ruppert, Principle Investigator of a European Research Council funded project, ARITHMUS , Goldsmiths, University of London (Peopling Europe: How data make a people: http://arithmus.eu/).

The ARITHMUS project has organized the workshop to address the question of how ‘Europe’ has been unable to address itself politically to a constituted polity and people that are something more than an agglomeration of nation-states. From the resurgence of nationalisms to the crisis of the single currency and the unprecedented decision of a member state to leave the European Union, core questions about the future of ‘Europe’ have been rearticulated: Who are the people of ‘Europe’? Is there a ‘European’ identity? What does it mean to say ‘I am European’? Where does ‘Europe’ begin and end, and who can legitimately claim to be a part of a ‘European’ people? If ‘Europe’ is to be more than a geographical marker how might it be conceived as a polity?

For the workshop, we will be discussing various data practices through which the people of ‘Europe’ are enumerated, classified, narrated, delimited, quantified, talked about, territorialised, visualized and imagined into being as knowable, identifiable and actionable entities and groups of people, such as citizens, migrants, travellers, minorities, tax payers, vulnerable people, criminals and so on. The six researchers who make up ARITHMUS along with 12 invited researchers from several European countries will engage with these issues and in relation to the overall Tate Exchange ‘Who Are We?’ programme and with the ‘How do we know who we are?’ installation more specifically.

Participants

ARITHMUS, Goldsmiths, University of London: Baki Cakici, Francisca Grommé, Evelyn Ruppert, Stephan Scheel, Ville Takala and Funda Ustek-Spilda.

Invited participants:

Michael Hockenhull, IT University of Copenhagen (DK); Annalisa Pelizza, University of Twente (NL); Helen Ratner, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen (DK); Rogier van Reekum,Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL); Silvan Pollozek, Technical University of Munich (DE); Jan-Hendrick Passoth, Technical University of Munich (DE); Amade M'charek, University of Amsterdam (NL); Ildikó Plájás, University of Amsterdam (NL); Susanne Schultz, Goethe University Frankfurt/M (DE); Sanne Boersma, Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL); Gabriel G. Blouin, Virginia Tech (US); Marisa Cohn, IT University of Copenhagen (DK).

View Event →
Everyday Solidarities
Mar
15
3:00pm 3:00pm

Everyday Solidarities

Laura Sorvala will talk about her work 'Outside the Box' with Alena Pfoser (Loughborough University), Lisa Pilgram (The Open University) and the audience. We will speak about the stories that are documented in the piece, what they tell us about life in the UK and the role of story-telling as an artistic practice.

No booking required, please feel free to drop in.

 

View Event →
On a Wing and A Prayer with Alia Syed
Mar
15
2:30pm 2:30pm

On a Wing and A Prayer with Alia Syed

On a wing and a prayer: A Case study

2:30 - 4:00 pm:

A screening of recent work by Alia Syed including 'Panopticon Letters', 'Missive I', 'On a Wing and a Prayer' and a sneak preview of her most recent work 'Clippy'. 

4:00pm - 6:00 pm

Followed by a seminar focusing on 'On a Wing and a Prayer'. This  work imaginatively recreates the journey undertaken by Abdul Rahman Haroun, who in August 2015 walked the entire 31 mile length of the Channel Tunnel in a bid to find asylum in the UK. He was arrested by the police and charged under the 1861 Malicious Damage Act. In this seminar Alia Syed, Sara de Jong, Umut Erel and Olga Jurasz will reflect on the role of the law in constituting citizens and migrants as well as the different spaces and journeys informing migrations, mobilities and immobilities. This will be followed by an open exchange between all participants on the ethical, political and artistic issues raised by Syed's work.

Please email (michelle.stevens@open.ac.uk) to reserve your free place for the seminar (4pm-6pm). 

Visitors to Who Are We? can also view Syed's films throughout the week in the main 5th Floor Tate Exchange Space (Tuesday-Saturday).

View Event →
Thinking and Feeling Migration Differently
Mar
15
12:00pm12:00pm

Thinking and Feeling Migration Differently

Dead Reckoning / Crossing the Med: Thinking and Feeling Migration Differently

Southwark Room, 5th Floor of the Switch House at Tate Modern, London

People on the move are often viewed with fear and suspicion on the part of ‘host’ communities. Despite a broad range of political and social responses to the so-called European refugee ‘crisis’, a security-orientated concern with ‘foreigners’ has come to dominate public and political debate. Meanwhile, efforts to construct different ways of talking about the issue appear to have failed to capture public imaginations. For instance, a humanitarian approach has been co-opted by the security agenda and is reproached from various angles as either ‘too soft’ and idealistic, or as victimising people on the move in precarious conditions. This raises the question as to how alternative imaginaries and responses can be forged that are grounded in respect for the dignity of all lives, including those people who are rendered precarious through movement.

Rather than addressing the question of how alternative approaches to migration or mobility can be forged with reference to different narratives and discourses, this symposium seeks to explore diverse ways of engaging with precarious movement by focusing on the importance of creative mediums and tools of interaction. Developing out of a close engagement with the collaborative installation Dead Reckoning / Crossing the Med, participants will consider the affective and conceptual power of artistic creativity, dialogue, and story-sharing in opening up new ways for ‘host’ communities to relate to people on the move in precarious situations. The symposium aims to bring together diverse constituencies to discuss the significance of re-learning migration or mobility through doing, creating, speaking and sharing, and will include interventions on the significance of the Dead Reckoning / Crossing the Med installation from academics, artists, faith communities, and community groups.

Please see project websites for further information about the Dead Reckoning and Crossing the Med projects.

 

 

View Event →
Performing Creative Citizenship 'Beyond the Babble'
Mar
14
4:30pm 4:30pm

Performing Creative Citizenship 'Beyond the Babble'

Performing creative citizenship 'beyond the babble'

Giota Alevizou (Open University)  and Lucia Scazzocchio (Social Broadcasts) reflect on the capacity of sonic art and digital storytelling to contextualise stories of identity and belonging and the ways in which perspectives can be enriched if we escape our own 'personal babble' fed by social media and news agendas.

No booking required, please feel free to drop in.

View Event →
Learning Lab: Unlearning the Role of the Artist with Eva Sajovic
Mar
14
4:00pm 4:00pm

Learning Lab: Unlearning the Role of the Artist with Eva Sajovic

Southwark Room, 5th Floor of the Switch House at Tate Modern, London

Unlearning seems like a daunting task. How willing are any of us - arts practitioner, academic or activist - to peel away received ways of thinking, methodologies, or secure sets of knowledge?

Join us for a Learning Lab with artist, Eva Sajovic, when she practices the art of ‘unlearning’, whilst posing questions about the politics of representing others in an age of global displacement.

Sajovic:

Artists often speak from the position of the privileged. They have the means to move, look, collect and display stories, metaphors, and visuals, often conferring on them an obligation to act. But are the stories artists tell the ones subjects want to tell? Whose voice is being heard? To whom are these stories told and what can they achieve? How can artists support subjects and work to affect change through participatory practice; what are the limitations?

These are urgent questions when engaging with displaced communities through the lens of participatory arts practice.

What is the role of artists using participatory practice when working in areas of displacement?

What methodologies can artists use to create platforms for subjects to represent themselves, acknowledging that artistic work is always a translation and that change of context might change the perception of the work?

What support can artists expect from commissioning organisations when using participatory methodologies, knowing that the boundaries between the artist-as-professional and artist-as-friend in process-based participatory work is fluid, blurred and prone to misinterpretation?  

What modes of representation might challenge stereotypes and activate audiences to see the world as an interconnected entity?

Learning Lab will take the form of a performed auto-ethnography by Sajovic, together with contributions from critical respondents, rapporteurs, lively open debate and the collective/creative production of a ‘manifesto for unlearning’.

Moderator: Áine O'Brien, Counterpoints Arts

Respondent: Agnes Czajka, The Open University

Rapporteur: Ele Belfiore, Loughborough University 

To register for this Learning Lab, please contact dijana@counterpointsarts.org.uk

Eva Sajovic is a socially engaged artist photographer. In her work Sajovic explores the drivers of global displacement such as regeneration, poverty, trafficking, culture and climate change.

Her practice includes Participatory social action projects (for example, a skills exchange project, The People’s Bureau, based in Elephant & Castle) and Photographic social portraiture, where she collaborates closely with subjects to construct images.

Sajovic exhibits internationally and has had her work commissioned by the Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, The National Archives, Fotogallery, the Cuming museum, 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning, 47/04, PARC, Siobhan Davies Dance. She has been supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England, the European Commission, Darat Al Funun Foundation, University of The Arts and the Ministry of Culture Slovenia.

She is an Associate Lecturer at UAL’s Central Saint Martins and Theory Lecturer at Chelsea College of Art.

View Event →
Who You Think We Are: JCN, YH & TW
Mar
14
12:00pm12:00pm

Who You Think We Are: JCN, YH & TW

Who You Think We Are: JCN, YH & TW

This is a conversational performance conceptualised to run for 45 minutes. It aims to engage and disrupt audience member’s internal assumptions about how we attribute identities to people without having met them. We will invite audiences to engage with the three of us through sharing images, stories and gestural repertoires. We hope to playfully deconstruct first assumptions made about people, while considering the deeper paradoxes of cross-cultural living, and how we create, perform and negotiate personal and collective identity and a sense of belonging.

JCN is a screen, stage writer & poet. JCN is currently V-LED Writer-in-Residence using Verbatim Theatre to stimulate Local Climate Action. JC wrote Wazi?FM a film about Urban Refugees that went on to win several awards including an EU award for promoting peace and cultural understanding.

YH is based at Warwick University, exploring intercultural engagements across and within borders. YH developed the African Women's Playwright Network, meeting JCN and working with TW. AWPN aims to help artists in the global context connect, share and develop new artistic work, and explore issues at regional, national and international levels. YH also works on how history, memory and transnational justice intersect.

TW is based at Warwick University, engaging with online performance, food and video. Current work includes developing teaching and learning around immersive technologies.

View Event →
School Sessions
Mar
14
to Mar 17

School Sessions

The 'Who are We'? Programme offers three sets of school workshops, targeted at primary and secondary level. These workshops will be offered on Tuesday 14th March; Wednesday 15th March and Friday 17th March. 

All school workshops are closed sessions and will run from 10:30 onward, lasting approximately 90 minutes. 

Tuesday 14th March: 10:30-12:00 noon

Refugees Crossing: Workshop with artist, Bern O'Donoghue, and Vicky Squire, Warwick University.

Bern: 'It is in the small and the simple where  human scale may be found, where one mind is changed, and we begin to change the world.' 

How do we talk to young children about the refugee crisis at a time when people on the move are viewed with fear and suspicion by their ‘host’ communities? How might we also provide a positive influence and address the inflammatory language that children might hear about migration outside their classroom?

We will offer a workshop exploring issues surrounding migration and the power of words to shape perception. Focusing on developing a culture of tolerance and acceptance in schools and local communities, this workshop sensitively examines identity, values-led thinking and the similarities we share with displaced people.   

Touching on citizenship, British values, diversity and friendship, the workshop investigates how students manage to create a sense of belonging within their peer group and asks how asylum seekers and refugees might do the same in their local area. The session takes time to consider the people behind the statistics as the class works together to construct the Dead Reckoning installation and discuss myths about migration. Following on, each child learns to make origami boats to take away onto which words of welcome for people seeking sanctuary will be added.

The workshop will do the following: 

  • Raise awareness of human interconnectedness.
  • Promote an understanding of differences and common humanity.
  • Promote learning with global perspective.
  • Develop a positive identity among migrants and all students.

Suitable for children aged between 7 and 11 years. Maximum number of pupils per group: 25

Wednesday 15th March: 10:30-12:00 noon

'Wer sind Wir? (Who are We) with James Hodkinson, University of Warwick.

Hodkinson: 'This workshop will explore questions surrounding being different, being the same and being similar in multicultural societies.' 

We will use contemporary and historical material from European media, history, arts, film, literature, and thought to activate and enrich students’ thinking. The workshop comprises a short lecture, film clips, group activities and discussions and will ask questions, such as: how important it is to view people of different cultural backgrounds and faiths in terms of how they differ from us? Is cultural difference always negative? Is the alternative to difference to insist that we all need to share the same beliefs? Is the only way to co-exist to reject our own heritage, assimilate and become the 'same'? Is it possible to think of a different inter-cultural model - that of similarity - which preserves and respects cultural differences, whilst finding shared beliefs, traditions and values around which to build cross-community and interfaith relations? 

Suitable for students at  ‘AS,’ ‘A' Level and advanced GCSE students of Modern Foreign Languages, Religious Studies, History and Sociology.

Friday 17th March: 10:30 -12:00 noon  

The DIY Diversity Flag with artist, Gil Mualem-Doron, and Giota Alevzou, Open University.

The DIY Diversity Flag is a 90 minute workshop, designed by Gil Doron for primary schools. It is linked to Gil’s New Union Flag Project.

The aim of the workshop is for pupils to map diversity that exists in their daily life, culture and community. This mapping is explored and represented through  creating a flag with textile designs from the places to which they are connected. 

The workshop fuses various disciplines, such as geography, history, design and art. Giota Alevizou (Open University) will ask students to reflect on questions of cultural heritage, identity and belonging looking at the ways in which these questions are expressed through the art of ‘making’ and story-telling.

In this workshop students will also be introduced to creative methods that are being materialised outside established museums and galleries - through participatory art, community art, protest art, and public art.

At the end of the workshop, students will leave with the flags they have individually and collectively created. 

Suitable for children aged between 7 and 11 years.

 

View Event →