There There

Participatory installation based on traditional village fête games, allows participants to play the immigration game: steal jobs, indulge in health-tourism, scrounge on benefits and dodge the British citizenship

Originally invigilated by There There, a performance duo, Trigger Warning is a participatory installation subverting traditional village fête games. It encourages audiences with all passports to exchange their experiences of immigration against a backdrop of deceptively light entertainment. By playing the games, the audience experiences the life of a typical immigrant as imagined by the British media over the last decade: the job-stealing, benefits-scrounging, non-integrated Eastern European.

The installation consists of five different games. The audience is given a chance to ‘hook-a-job’, spin the wheel of benefits, take a photo of themselves indulging in health tourism (courtesy of an NHS photo banner), and win a British/EU passport by throwing tea bags into a Bobby-shaped teapot. Those who avoid competition can take part in a prophecy telling game, with fact-checked fortunes fit for those remaining or leaving the country.

There There is a 50% Romanian, 50% Serbian performance company founded in London by Dana Olărescu and Bojana Janković. The company’s practice revolves around topics that emerge at the intersection of personal experiences and big-picture policy and politics including: immigration, immigrant and national identities, exclusion, and heritage. They create sharp, political, and playful performances, and strive to gather audiences whose diversity reflects that of the world outside the venue.

There There is planning to take Trigger Warning on a strategic tour of the country, encompassing towns and cities that reflect the national split revealed by the referendum, from pro-Brexit centres like Margate and Folkstone, via the surprisingly ambivalent cities like Newcastle and Birmingham to the Europhilic London. The tour revolves around collaborations with galleries and museums, giving local immigrant invigilators time and space in significant cultural institutions, putting the issue of immigration at the forefront of cultural concerns, and helping to develop relationships between immigrant communities and art spaces.