When we decided to have a family break in Brazil last year we couldn’t foresee the political upheaval the country is facing today. A trip that was planned around visiting friends and learning more about community-based cultural projects has become an even more opportune moment to follow my desire to better understand the role culture plays in democratic processes. Between the 16th of October and the 13th of November I visited artists and activists operating in Recife – PE, an occupied cinema, an artist-run space, and a state led community project. The impressions these encounters have left on me is what I am making public and open to conversation at What Happen To Us.
Communities don’t just happen, they’re made.
What Happens to Us will examine democracy as a system of community formation. This exhibitionary programme unfolds at Wimbledon Space in Autumn 2016, in the long shadow of UK’s EU referendum of 27 June, with the suspension of Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff and the shock and awe of the US election on 8 November. The news of Trump leading the so-called free world has compelled many of us to wonder if we should ‘just say no’ to democracy in its current form. What if the philosopher and diplomat Joseph de Maistre was right: People get the governments they deserve. What does this mean to us in the UK? This is something that What Happens to Us aims to address as a meeting place for a democratically charged community. Together we’ll grapple with the reality that a properly political horizon may be little more than a mirage in our age of post-ideological politics. More importantly, we’ll try and figure out what to do if in fact this is so.
Confirmed contributors: Acts of Searching Closely, Alison Green, Barbara Steveni, Brad Butler, Binita Walia, Carla Cruz, Cinzia Cremona, Francesca Baglietto, Georgia Brown, Helen Brewer, Ian Solomon-Kawall, Jennet Thomas, Karem Ibrahim, Marc Herbst, Mike Freedman, Naomi Garriock, Neil Cummings, Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre, Pippa Koszerek, radical reThink, Rosie McGinn, Scott Schwager, Wright & Vandame, others TBC.
+ Cinzia Cremona, Elliott Burns, Francesca Baglietto and Gabriele Grigorjeva as the exhibition’s shadow curators
What Happens to Us is curated by Marsha Bradfield and Amy McDonnell.
The four-phase exhibition runs 15 Nov to 9 Dec 10 – 4 @ Wimbledon Space – Wimbledon College of Arts, Merton Hall Road London SW19 3QA
The Mill Stories is now online, check it out.
Between February and June 2016, I worked as a Research Associate for Goldsmiths University of London, based at The Mill. The placement was possible by the AHRC Cultural Engagement Fund. Over this period I looked into the emergence of The Mill and the impact it has on the community in terms of reception and production of arts and culture in the borough. My research also analyses the connection of The Mill’s history with the recent history of austerity politics and the arts in the UK. To help bring a fuller picture to the history of The Mill I’ve interviewed St James Street Library Campaigners; The Mill initiators, trustees, volunteers, and staff; programme and activity leaders; and users.
AAPA Biennial Braga Chaves Coimbra collaboration community Corunha drawing Europe Fair feminism festival Finding Money gallery work gender Guimarães installation institutional critique intervention Lisboa London Madrid manipulation Marseille newspaper NPL pamphlet participation performance politics Porto postcard public art Rotterdam sculpture solo show sound Sousveillance surveillance theatre Torres Vedras video Vienna Viseu