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A collaborative, participatory art project which explores questions of home and migration in East London.

A collaborative, participatory art project which explores questions of home and migration in East London.

  • School/Institute/Department: School of Geography, Centre for Studies of Home
  • Subjects: Immigration, participatory arts, home, geography
  • Audience:
  • Status: Past

This activity is to extend public engagement with Globe, a collaborative, participatory art project which explores questions of home and migration in East London. It comprises of a series of workshops that will take place at Mulberry School for Girls in July 2016.

Mulberry is a Specialist Arts comprehensive school in Tower Hamlets with an extensive programme of extra-curricular opportunities around Women’s Education and Global Education. Nearly all students are of Bangladeshi heritage with a very small minority from other backgrounds, including White British, Pakistani and African. The workshops will be specifically designed to look at how students, parents and staff perceive their home on a local and global scale.

The workshops will offer activities where participants will redefine the boundaries of belonging and create their own global worlds. This project with Mulberry School for Girls will significantly extend focused public engagement with Janetka Platun’s Leverhulme Artist in Residency programme of practice- based research.

Within Geography, this CPE programme speaks to the overlapping themes of home, displacement, migration and the city that are key areas of interest among members of the Culture, Space and Power Research Group as well as the Centre for Studies of Home. This CPE project resonates with and expands Drama’s commitment to making and analysing socially engaged arts practices, locally and internationally. Globe will also strengthen QMUL’s reputation for creative public engagement and its commitment to connecting with its immediate environment.

The activity with Mulberry will have a long-term impact through its on-going relationship with QMUL through Caoimhe McAvinchey’s (Drama) collaborative research around intergenerational arts practice and women’s education. The School of Geography also have an ongoing relationship with Mulberry through its Stepping Stones mentoring programme.

Globe is a filmic and sculptural project. Measuring 1 metre in diameter, Globe is a copper sphere that will start its life free of any imperfections, ready to embark on a journey around East London. The project responds to and reflects different ways in which migration have shaped local communities. Globe’s spatial politics will be shaped by her spherical design, a mobile, dynamic and evolving piece of art. It will be able to cover shared ground, roll through housing estates and into cultural institutions in equal measure. As it rolls through the streets, Globe’s copper exterior will degrade and scar, taking on the impressions of each route it travels, visually mapping each journey it takes.  Globe will be a finished piece of art in its own right, shaped by the people and places of East London; it will carry the marks of all its journeys. The exterior will be an enduring monument to the area and shaped by the people and places of East London.

Cameras strapped inside portholes will film the rotation of each leg of Globe’s journey through East London as Platun engages in conversations with the public around ideas of home, belonging and community. These personal narratives will be juxtaposed with the tumbling images of Globe’s revolving footage as part of a final film.

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