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New event at Tate Exchange explores issues facing migrants

21 May 2018

A free event taking place this week at Tate Exchange will explore the issues facing migrants and refugees in the UK.

Organised by The Open University and Counterpoints Arts, Who Are We? will be live 22-27 May and will bring together artists, including refugees and migrants, for a week of experimental production at the Tate Exchange. Visitors to the event will be able to explore the reality of migration through visual arts, film and photography, design and architecture, digital cultures, the spoken and written word, Live Art and Learning Labs hosted by OU academics.

Sara de Jong, said: “Who are 'we' in divisive times? What solidarities can be produced against the backdrop of a 'hostile environment' for migrants? Our event involves artists, academics and civil society organisations to engage with these burning questions, and is underpinned by the idea that stronger ideas of ‘togetherness’ can be created through conversation, interaction and exchange.”

The week’s programme is packed full of events, which include:

Tuesday 22 May

3-5pm: Visitors are invited to join the OU's Umut Erel and the PASAR team for a reflection on What does Participation Mean Across the Arts and Research?   

12-5pm (participate any time between these hours) in the interactive writing workshop Floor Plans (journeys from there to here) with poet and lecturer in creative writing Siobhan Campbell, The Open University, artist Natasha Davis, and Sara de Jong (OU). 

Friday 25 May

12-6pm visitors can join Victoria Canning, Umut Erel and Gabi Kent for a collective imagining (Southwark room).  Bringing together artists, activists, practitioners and academics around the theme: Hostile Environments: the Politics of (Un)Belonging.

6pm onwards, Marie Gillespie will be launching her book on the experiences of solidarity at the Lesvos Pikpa refugee camp

Week-long events include:

Are We Data? questions the relationship between place and place-less 'big data'.  Using an immersive installation, it explores whether digital data can really reveal 'who we are'.  You are welcomed by artist Sapphire Goss and OU researchers Liz McFall, Darren Umney and David Moats to join and interact, throughout the week.

Floor Plans (journeys from there to here) is a growing a collaborative participatory installation displayed throughout the week focusing on floor plans of homes relating to personal migratory histories, the architecture of memory and the body as a site of memory by artist Natasha Davis, poet & researcher Siobhan Campbell, and researcher Sara de Jong (Open University).

The Open University and Counterpoint Arts have worked in association with Stance Podcast and the University of York Migration Network, alongside other collaborators, and look forward to welcoming the public to this innovative exploration of migration.

This year’s event builds on the success of Who Are We? 2017, which explored the global movement and how the UK’’s colonial past connects to today’s migratory movements, and will extend beyond the geographical location of the Tate Exchange in London to include projects and initiatives from across the UK, Europe and beyond.

More information can be found at Tate Exchange. The event is part of the Who Are We? Project.

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Contact us

To find out more about our work, or to discuss a potential project, please contact:

International Development Research Office
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)1908 858502