Tag Archives: art

Committed To Represent exhibition with Refugee Boy play 1st-3rd April at Waterside Arts Centre

Refugees and legal support pop-up exhibition
on show with Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah

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1st – 3rd April 2014, at Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF

Open to view from 1pm on Tues 1st and Thurs 3rd, and from 3.30pm on Weds 2nd. Tel. 0161 912 5616

How does the legal work of the GMIAU (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit) help refugees to rebuild their lives? What motivates the caseworkers? How do refugees respond to the challenges that the asylum system throws at them?

This exhibition is a celebration of the work that caseworkers do and a testament to the courage of refugees and people seeking asylum. It consists of photography and texts as a series of 12 portable panels by the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and Virtual Migrants.

REFUGEE BOY – a play based on the novel by Benjamin Zephaniah, is on stage at the Waterside Arts Centre 1-3 April. Adapted for the stage by Lemn Sissay. Gail McIntyre (West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Director) brings together the work of two of the UK’s most prolific and revered poets, Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay in a heartbreaking and hilarious production that pulses with energy, love, loss and hope. http://watersideartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/1371-benjamin-zephaniahs-refugee-boy/

A special talk about the Committed To Represent exhibition by Denise McDowell (the director of GMIAU) will take place on Wednesday 2nd April at 6.20pm, before the performance at 7pm.

This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired. The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme. Please contact virtual migrants via www.virtualmigrants.net or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information along with previews of the exhibition are available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.
www.virtualmigrants.net     www.gmiau.org

 

Committed To Represent #refugee and legal support exhibition available for use

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How does the legal work of the GMIAU (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit) help refugees to rebuild their lives? What motivates the caseworkers? How do refugees respond to the challenges that the asylum system throws at them? This exhibition is a celebration of the work that caseworkers do and a testament to the courage of refugees and people seeking asylum.

An exhibition of photography and texts as a series of 12 portable panels by the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, in partnership with Virtual Migrants. This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired.  The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme.  Please contact us or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information is available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .  A gallery showing all of the panels is available to view right now at www.virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent/gallery , and photographs of the panels exhibited in various venues can be seen at www.virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent/exhibitionphotos. These will give a good idea of what the exhibition is and how it can be presented.

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.

Statement from GMIAU at their 2014 AGM:

We are in very turbulent times. During the past 12 months legal aid has been removed for most immigration cases and the government is ‘consulting’ on the next set of cuts which will include further restrictions on access to the law, including judicial review and appeals, and the insidious ‘residency test’. The Immigration Bill has been introduced and if it get passed as it is it will include duties on landlords and banks to check the immigration status of potential tenants and customers. Immigration will once again be top of the political agenda in the run up to general election in 2015 and none of the public debate about immigration is positive. This makes it even more difficult for the people that GMIAU is here to support and represent – not just in a legal sense but also to stand up against the injustice and discrimination that is the reality of many peoples day to day lives.

We need our supporters more than ever. We need to work together to steer the organisation through these challenging times, to make sure not only that we survive but that we’re stronger and louder than before in our defence of access to justice and human rights. Please come and join us on the 25th need to be doing over the next year and beyond to make sure we stay at the forefront of creating a better and more positive contribution to the lives of people in the North West who need immigration legal advice and representation.

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90 Degree Citizen – installing the exhibition

4bAmang Mardokhy arrives at Manchester Museum to install his paintings for 90 Degree Citizen – A rare exhibition of work by a new wave of visual artists whose experiences include life as refugees in the UK, and engaging with objects from The Manchester Museum.

“I have come from Kurdistan, north part of Iraq. Since the early start of my art experience, I also have learned how to live and express the sufferings of Continue reading

Re-Presenting Refugees event 30th October!

90 Degree Citizen
an exhibition by Virtual Migrants + performance / discussion events

on show at the Manchester Museum 10th October – 17th November 2013
90DC-A5flyer-back
migrant art – alternative connections – cultural boundaries
A rare exhibition of work by a new wave of visual artists whose experiences include life as refugees in the UK, and engaging with objects from The Manchester Museum

Special event:  Re-Presenting Refugees panel discussion with ‘Passenger 12’ multimedia performance  + special guests incl. international artist Humberto Velez, Denise McDowell the director of Greater Manchester Immigration Aid, and Iranian artist Flora Alexander
Wednesday 30th October, 6.00 – 9.00pm
plus: at 5.00pm a talk + preview of the “Committed To Represent” pop-up exhibition
FREE: please register at www.re-presentingrefugees.eventbrite.co.uk

view the trailer

Full details of the event

Exhibition full details here!

A cultural-political-arts project on climate imperialism

There are some incredible and devastating predictions for the future levels of displaced people due to climate change.  A recent issue of Forced Migration Review (#31) began to map out these issues in a useful way yet when you look at the range of articles you are left with a sense that this field is struggling to gain a proper framework; a question for a group like ours is on the role for UK artists with an initial UK audience in response to this, and its relationship to other political positions regarding refugee and migrant issues.  Issues of resource depletion are directly affecting many originating lands of diaspora communities but the immediate pre-occupations of anti-racist and migrant groups seem to have left them forever on a back-burner.  The potential urgency such communities could bring to the debate could be enormous.  This project challenges us as politically engaged artists to disentangle, reposition and debate these pressing realities in a public forum.

This blog has just been set up by Kooj from Virtual Migrants (www.virtualmigrants.com), for The Centre Cannot Hold, a non-limited project about Climate Change and Imperialism.

There is a keynote paper by Kooj Chuhan, titled “Tolerating Mass Murder”, outlining our starting points for this investigation.  You can read it HERE – comments/discussions are welcome.

An outline of the first stage of this project, currently focused at The Arnolfini in Bristol (UK), is as follows.

The Centre Cannot Hold (part 1)

by Virtual Migrants

 

Installation with performances and direct dialogues exploring climate imperialism

THEME / SUBJECT

The project will explore two critical, under-developed, poorly represented and inter-related areas:

(a)   the ways in which Climate Change is a continuation of imperialist processes that have been active for a few hundred years.  Destruction of human beings along with their environment on a large scale is nothing new, and climate change is perhaps the most sanitised way in which ‘third’ economies will be decimated by the omnipresent culture of greed led by the first economies.

(b)   The perceptions of migrant, ‘third sector’ and diaspora people and groups in the UK, particularly of activists, and their counterparts in ‘third’ economies of the world.  Active engagement of such groups with climate change particularly in the context of imperialism and racism appears to be embryonic at best, because of other continually pressing issues which are always of higher priority such as more direct racism, immediate survival and resistance.  The potential of such groups beginning to discuss such narratives and forming linkages around such issues could be significant.  Integrating with perspectives on class inequality and poverty is also critically relevant.

These areas are difficult, and this project will not pretend to be able to create work that is conclusive within this timescale.  Rather, Virtual Migrants intends to continue this exploration and discussion over the next few years, with work being produced at various intervals of which the exhibition and events at the Arnolfini will be the first landmark stop on this journey.

FORM – aesthetics

The work will focus on the aesthetics of words, spoken and written, with an emphasis on immediacy and direct connection with the source of those words.  Activists will be speaking directly about current situations, ideas, thoughts and activities as a part of the presentations.  We want to minimise the amount of interpretation which artists would normally introduce to such work, and allow such non-performers and non-artists to become a part of work with integrated cultural, aesthetic and political meaning.

There are many examples across the world throughout history where popular consumption of words, both of their depth of meaning as well as of their beauty, has been an essential part of cultures which can more easily be critical and engage in discussion.  Our approach is to encourage directness, anti-packaging, and active engagement with rather than passive consumerism of such narratives.

We intend to use musical and digital visuals to create audio-visual environments that reflect both historical and contemporary sensibilities, rhythms, and contexts in which these direct narratives can be enriched.  These will inevitably be simple and complex at the same time, and will continually change and evolve during the period of installation.