The Ditch, Shoreditch Town Hall
380 Old Street
London EC1V 9LT
A week-long programme of events in response to global demographic shifts and unprecedented levels of human displacement.
Featuring over 40 artists working across visual art, film, photography, Live Art, performance and design, dis/placed considers the experiences of people who are ‘staying temporarily’, sometimes for generations, in stateless limbos, detention centres, refugee camps or urban settlements – living within a country’s borders yet outside its political, legal and civic life.
dis/placed invites audiences to explore the exhibition and participate in a daily programme of learning labs, workshops, performances, interventions and screenings.
Produced by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Live Art Development Agency
Manaf Halbouni, Kimbal Bumstead, Richard Dedomenici, Maya Sanbar, Mary Mitchell, Zory Shahrokhi, James Russell Cant, Hasan Tanji & Mohamed Tayeb, Simon Hipkins, Agata Skowronek and David McAulay, Sophia Gardiner, Juan delGado, Josepa Munoz, Victoria Burgher, Hong Dam, Mariwan Jalal, Hesan Fetrati, Anna Sherbany, Ulrika Eller-Rueter, Emi Avora, Matthias Kispert, Zlata Camdzic & Anna Ehnold-Danailov – w2d theatre, Nana Varveropoulou, Florian Amoser, Sean Burn, Orly Orbach, Natasha Davis, Kay Adshead, Krissi Bohn, There There, Hassan Nezamian, Eva Mileusnic, Haim Bresheeth, Herdi Ahmed, Laura Saunders, Alice Myers, Between the Borders, Lucy Namayanja, Anthea Kennedy / Ian Wiblin, Karen Boswall, Nesreen Nabil Hussein, Reza Tavakol, Bobby Lloyd, Outlandish Theatre
Events and performances
2 — 3pm Outlandishtheatre Platform — Between Land and Water A 40 minute live performance in collaboration with four Muslim women in East London; it deals with their personal connection to identity, place and memorised landscape in London, in response to the Dublin voices of first generation Muslim women in ‘Between Land
and Water’ (2014).
Private View 7-10pm (booking required)
Featuring food project Topik by Irem Aksu, incorporating cultural and historical elements – food without borders.
6.45 – 7.15 Nesreen Nabil Hussein – My City, My Revolution, a multi-media performance exploring the city as a site of displacement and alternative revolutions (conceived by Nesreen Hussein in collaboration with Vanio Papadelli, Mohamed Goely and Michael Picknett).
7.15 – 7.35 Sean Burn – Slave Ships Today, spoken word performance and soundscape & visual installation in a close reflection on those displaced.
7.35 – 8.30 Richard Dedomenici – PPP* Utility Cabinet (installation + performance), exploring ways of utilising street cabinets and other discreet prefabricated structures as a solution to the problem of slum landlords exploiting powerless immigrants.
6.45 – 7.15 Zlata Camdzic – Welcome to Dreamland (conceived by Zlata Camdzic and Anna Ehnold-Danailov) – a series of short theatrical performances, each following different aspects of a female asylum seeker’s incredible journey.
7.15 – 8.30 Panel Discussion – Exploring Immigration Detention through Performance, with excerpts from The Bogus Woman by Kay Adshead, performed by Krissi Bohn. Panel discussion led by Dr Agnes Woolley (Royal Holloway, University of London) with Zlata Camdzic, Anna Ehnold-Danailov, Kay Adshead and Bamidele, member of the Freed Voices group – a group of experts-by-experience committed to speaking out about the realities of immigration detention in the UK. Event supported by Royal Holloway, University of London.
3.30 – 5.30pm There There – TEXT HOME TO 78070 (installation + performance) – a secret set of assimilation instructions authored by the infamous Romanian Crime Wave itself, to help immigrants integrate and endanger the British way.
6 – 8:30 pm Film Screening – Garden Studio, with filmmakers present for post-screening discussion
Boya Boya (19 mins, 2014), Karen Boswall
The View from Our House (76 mins, 2013), Anthea Kennedy/Ian Wiblin
12.00 – 2.30pm There There – TEXT HOME TO 78070
2.00 – 2.30pm Natasha Davis – Internal Terrains (Installation + performance) explores life as a choreography of decades, in search of what’s at stake as we move from one decade to another. Crows, cages and electric shocks mix with cables, bulbs and short films revealing fragments of border crossings, memories and distant lands.
3-5pm Panel Discussion – Live Art & dis/placed, led by Lois Keidan with Alice Ross & Bernard G Mills, Zlata Camdzic & Anna Ehnold-Danailov, Natasha Davis, Nesreen Nabil Hussein and There There.
5.15 – 6:00pm Film Screening – Eyes with No Barriers Screening of short films exploring what it means to be ‘dis/placed’ as seen through the eyes of young migrants and non-migrants. Post-screening conversation with film programme mentor, Victor Rios, and young filmmakers.
The Learning Lab threads its way through the dis/placed exhibition opening multiple spaces for interdisciplinary reflection, creative exchange, cross-sector learning and collaboration.
Labs are individually designed to facilitate lively imagining and debate. We invite you to participate in this dedicated programme focusing on the themes explored by artists in the exhibition who are working across film, photography, audio, Live Art and performance, architecture and design.
Lab topics include: ‘waiting’, ‘cross-border movement’, ‘technologies of asylum and detention’, ‘participatory arts and practices of place-making’, ‘arts, activism and social change’, ‘memory and re-imagining lost archives’, ‘restorative role of arts and culture’, ‘investigative journalism through interactive storytelling’ and ‘representing the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean’.
Learning Labs form part of the Out of Place Action-Research Platform (a project led by Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab, in partenership with Gillian Gordon, Royal Holloway, University of London and FilmAid).
With questions about Learning Lab, please contact Áine O’Brien (email@example.com)
Learning Lab booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/displaced-learning-labs-and-events-tickets-17149140541
16 June: 3:30 – 6 pm
Practices of Place-Making: Memory, Migration and the Global City (Part 1)
In association with the Migration Museum Project (www.migrationmuseum.org)
Artists are often astute observers of the intricate – idiosyncratic – processes of place-making. They are able to document the everyday minutiae shaping the cultural diversity of local places. Yet artistic practices of place-making demand deep collaboration, encouraging (interdisciplinary) methodologies of trust, participation, and democratic/experimental modes of representing ‘voice’ and collective agency for communities of place.
This Lab focuses on the work of artists who are engaging in place-making practices through the prism of migration, memory and the lived realities of the global city.
Using video, still photographs, maps, sound and text, Haim Bresheeth and Reza Tavakol’s installation ‘Convivencia’ (co-existence) explores the mixed cultural heritage and everyday life on Turnpike Lane, North East London, where more than 100 languages are spoken and people from all parts of the world live in close proximity.
James Russell Cant’s collaborative photographic portraiture series, ‘Home Cooking’, uses food as an anchor for refugee memories and place-making – wherein shared recipes, cooking and eating enact a rich performative site for cross-cultural exchange and engagement.
Respondents: Bobby Lloyd, ‘The Drawing Shed’; Marcia Chandra, ‘Everyday on Canalside’; Reem Charik, Febrik; Alice Sachrajda, The Young Foundation; Professor Phil Marfleet, University of East London
17 June: 3- 6pm
Queens of Syria: Capturing the Healing Process of Interactive Theatre in the ‘Trojan Women’ Project
How would an all-women cast of Syrian refugees interpret Euripides’ great play about war today? 25 women from Syria fleeing the conflict, find themselves in Jordan with nothing, no homeland and no hope. Film director, Yasmin Fedda, follows the birth of a play and documents the women, their interpretation and process.
In conversation with Fedda and producers, Georgina Paget and Itab Azzam, we will look at the ‘Trojan Women’ project conducted in Amman, Jordan (co-produced by Charlotte Eagar and William Stirling).
The project uses participatory storytelling and public performance to promote understanding between refugees and host communities in Jordan. In the Queens of Syria, Fedda captures a transformative journey through a mix of quiet observation, direct interviews, and footage of the refugee women’s lives. We witness the women telling eloquent and moving personal stories of what it means to be caught up in the conflict, revealing historic entanglements with the Euripides’ tragedy alongside rich exchanges with, dramaturge, Omar Abu Saada, and acting coach, Nanda Mohammad.
Queens of Syria will have its London premiere at the Barbican on 16 July, 2015.
Respondent: Gillian Gordon
18 June: 2- 6 pm
Waiting (for Godot): Temporalities of Control and of Migration.
In ‘How long can waiting work?’ the late Edward Said likens Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ to the Palestinian condition. It is ‘about waiting, about unending expectation … as Arabs now, we are in fact waiting for all sorts of things to happen with very little certainty as to what they are, how they will affect us, and what will come after.’
This Lab brings together several artists who creatively document a range of enforced waiting conditions for refugees and migrants across the globe.
Maya Sanbar’s 3-screen film installation, titled ‘Waiting’, steadily observes Palestinian migrants trapped in a no-man’s land, on the Gaza/Egypt border; Matthias Kispert’s experimental video essay ’No More Beyond’ is located in Melilla, the Spanish enclave in Morocco surrounded by a boundary of 6.8 miles of heavily patrolled triple wire fence. The remains of a refugee community on the Tunisian/Libyan border is filmed by Kimbal Bumstead in ‘The Horizon is Far Away’, together with his participatory photography project, ‘Waiting for a New Life‘ with Yezidi (Iraqi) refugees in an unofficial refugee camp in Batman, Eastern Turkey. Simon Hipkins, Agata Skowronek and Dave McCauley’s ‘The Circle’ weaves film, photography and sound design to witness the enduring legacy of violence in Iraq, mediated through stories of internally displaced people. Juan delGado’s installation ‘Terminal Sur’ re-invokes the voices of an invisible community in the city of Bogotá – internally displaced from the region of Choco, Colombia. Emily Churchill Zaara curates and translates several art/activist projects chronicling everyday perspectives from within and without the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria.
19 June: 11 – 12:30pm
Ways of Working: Cartoons and Contraband – A Master Class with Benjamin Dix.
Sometimes a simple, hand-drawn image conveys more meaning than glossy photographs and films. Benjamin Dix and the team at Positive Negatives, Ltd., use multimedia technology to tell new stories to represent global conflict, humanitarian and migration issues to wide and diverse audiences. Benjamin will walk us through a range of collaborative projects, which use mixed-methods of investigative journalism, ethnography, interactive comics, and face-to-face testimonials. www.positivenegatives.org
19 June: 3- 6pm
Detention: Participatory Arts and Photography in Nana Varveropoulou’s No-Man’s Land.
In association with Autograph ABP (http://autograph-abp.co.uk/)
A Lab based on the collaborative methodologies, processes and outcomes of Nana Varveropoulou’s photography project, No Man’s Land, located in Coinbrook Immigration Removal Centre, UK. No Man’s Land was produced through sustained collaboration with a group of men who participated in a programme of photo workshops. The workshops were developed through ongoing dialogue between Varveropoulou and the detainees, based around themes surrounding the emotional experience and impact of indefinite detention.
The workshop will explore and reflect on the site-specific/collaborative methodologies implemented by Varveropoulou, in addition to the aesthetics and ethics underpinning the work, with a view to understanding wider social impact and plans for exhibition and publication – for whom and to what end?
Respondent: Dr Roberta McGrath, Reader in Photography, Napier University, Edinburgh; Andrej Mahecic, Senior Communications Officer – UNHCR
20 June: 10:30 – 12:00 noon
Practices of Place-Making: Memory, Migration and the Archive (Part 2)
What do you hang on the walls of your mind? *Eve Arnold, Magnum Photographer
Syrian artist Manaf Halbouni’s installation of an overloaded, battered car, Nowhere is Home, epitomizes the extreme precariousness for individuals forced to flee homes, livlihoods and extended communities. With no firm footing in any location, Halbouni takes his artistic intervention to the road – assembling a living archive, a makeshift mobile space ‘packed with objects [he loves] and with the capacity to drive away’.
Many of the artists in ‘dis/placed’ use a similar form of mobile storytelling to re-imagine and challenge the idea of a fixed archival collection. The idea of history and the perceived boundaries of fact, fiction, memory and loss are continuously re-negotiated. Several works introduce alternative ways of remembering and archiving that include the digital and the sensorial, collaboration, co-production and participation.
This Learning Lab will take the form of a conversation with Professor Maggie O’Neill, University of Durham and Dr Roberta McGrath, University of Napier, Edinburgh, as they walk through and read against the grain of the exhibition with a view to exploring how human rights are understood in these new methods of archival research, mobile storytelling and creative co-production.
* ‘What do you hang on the walls of your mind? When I became a photographer I began, assiduously, to collect favourite images which I filed away in my imagination to bring out and examine during moments of stress and moments of quiet’. (‘At Home in the World’, Magnum Legacy Eve Arnold, by Janine di Giovanni, 2015).
20 June: 1 – 3:00pm
World Refugee Day
Creative Responsibility and Human Rights: Telling the Untold Stories of the Crisis in the Mediterranean
This Learning Lab will take the form of a moderated panel with short presentations and open discussion.
A recent article by Guardian journalist, Jonathan Jones, sets the agenda for this conversation when he declares that ‘art’s response to migrant drownings should be way more aggressive’. Jones suggests that ‘the scale of our cruelty, the true consequences of all the rhetoric that de-humanises migrants, have become so lethally clear, surely art on such a theme should be less equivocal, more angry?’
What might a creative arts response be and can it ever act alone?
This Learning Lab brings together a mix of people who are actively engaged and interested in making urgent interventions in the representation and communication of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. It will showcase examples from creative practitioners, commentators and researchers who are telling the story of the root causes of the migrant crisis through collaborative storytelling methods, media platforms and broadcasting channels.
The aim is to set up a network of interested artists, journalists, activists, advocates, academics and policymakers with a view to sharing ideas and charting potential collaborations and storytelling partnerships.
Panel participants include – with more updates to come:
Preethi Nallu: Print and multimedia journalist who has reported from the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Focusing on human rights and development issues, she writes for Al Jazeera, TIME, Newsweek and other international outlets. Her most recent work for UNHCR highlights the plight of refugees and migrants at sea. She is currently working on a multimedia project called ‘Parallel Journeys: Seasons of Migration’ with photographer and writer, Iason Athanasiadis.
Ruben Anderson: Anthropologist/postdoctoral research fellow at the Civil Society and Human Security Research Unit, London School of Economics and author of Illegality Inc: Clandestine Migration and the Business of Bordering Europe, 2014
Benjamin Dix: Director of Positive Negatives Ltd, which uses multimedia and traditional forms of art to represent global conflict, humanitarian and migration issues to wide and diverse audiences – www.positivenegatives.org
Maurice Wren: Chief Executive at the British Refugee Council. Maurice was Director of Asylum Aid since 2002, having previously held senior management roles at Shelter and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust.
Richard Kotter: European Union Country Coordinator (and member of SOS Europe project group) for Amnesty International UK. He is Senior Lecturer in Economic / Political Geography, and Programme Leader for the MSc in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development, Department of Geography, Northumbria University at Newcastle upon Tyne.
Photograph: ‘Nowhere is Home’ (work in progress image) by Manaf Halbouni, 2015. Commissioned for the exhibition Dispossessed at the Venice Biennale by Wroclaw with Dredesn and Lviv. A partner piece for Refugee Week 2015 will be co-commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum and Counterpoints Arts.
We are grateful to Aurora Multimedia for their support for this exhibition