The Future Of Living
a residency in Park Royal
The Peoples Bureau (PB) has been ‘in residency’ at Park Royal since May 2018, commissioned by Create London (and with the support of OPDC) with the aim to engage with the community around issues related to urban change in the area. Following a period of meetings, walks and discussions with the locals we have decided to focus onthe question of the Role of Participatory Art Practice and interrogate it together with the locals and invited guests from the Collective* where we took up a resident flat for a period of a week.
We understand the role of art is to provide a space for agonism, mediation and collaboration that can facilitate:
· representation through which citizens can express themselves and bring into visibility their ways of seeing and
· a pluralist space from which a dialogical encounter can be facilitated.
There were three particular questions we wanted to discuss:
1. How to communicate/represent this way of working through image/visual as an artist/designer?
Unpicking graphic/visual communication and Socially Engaged Practice.
(With our guests from Europa, Create London and local resident Ewa Cwirko-Godycka.)
2. How this work is best communicated/represented democratically- by the collaborating community?
'really what should happen is that people should be able to control the means of communication themselves...community controlled communications networks, that's the long term objective'. (Kelly, O., 1984)
(With our guests: local resident Theresa Magee and artist NeilCummings.
3. How this work is communicated/represented by media and translated by audience?
(With our guests: local resident Amanda Souter, community filmmaker Andy Porter and activist Robin Browne.)
The daily encounters (17 – 19 September) started with a lunch in the communal kitchen on the 8th floor, followed up by a live broadcast of our conversation in one of the spaces of the Collective. We also took our guests on a tour of the building: the library, the spa, the pub, the roof terrace, the cinema.
Some of the resulting materials were presented as an installation as part of the Open House Weekend (21 and 22 September). A publication will follow later in the year. You can access sound recordings of the three conversations recorded (and live broadcasted) by the artist Lucia Scazzocchio on soundcloud following the links below.
*a co-living space in Park Royal that offers ‘a convenient and fulfilling lifestyle' experience.
Artistic forms of production for resistance
10 June, 12 -6pm, Tate Exchange, Tate Modern.
Hosted by Peoples Bureau, this day will be dedicated to exploring the role and ethics of working in socially engaged art practice related to urban change and displacement.
‘What are the new forms of production that allow for new forms of resistance and envisage the possibility of a revitalization of the emancipatory project to which artistic practices can make a decisive contribution (…) Every critical gesture is quickly recuperated and neutralized by the forces of corporate capitalism.’ (Mouffe, 2013)
This event will mark the start of Eva and Rebecca’s critical evaluation of 9 years working collaboratively and will form part of a reflective manual, which they hope will serve as an instruction of and toolkit for a model of best practice.
We invite you to join us with your questions which will help form part of a public discussion (1 - 2.30pm) led by Eva and Rebecca (Peoples Bureau) with Ele Belfiore (Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Loughborough University who has published extensively on the belief in the transformative power and the presumed ‘social impacts’ of the arts) who will share lunch round a table with other invited socially engaged artists and practitioners.
The discussion will take place around Join – a table designed and installed by artist Michael Giambrone.
The day will include an installation of work made during Peoples Bureau’s Unearthing project at Tate Exchange (Taking place in 2017 in collaboration with Shane Waltener and Stave Hill Eco Park) which was recently reworked as part of a residency at Danielle Arnaud Gallery.
There will be performances by Zoe Gilmour (3pm) and Shane Waltener (2.30 - 4pm) . A soundscape will be delivered by sound artist Lee Berwick (4pm onwards).
About Peoples Bureau
Peoples Bureau is a programme of artistic actions that enable community representation and empowerment, delivered by artists Eva Sajovic and Rebecca Davies.
Peoples Bureau was set up in 2014 and based at the Elephant and Castle shopping centre - one of the most contested sites in the capital, currently undergoing a vast development that has been and will continue to permanently displace thousands of people who live and work here. Peoples Bureau collects and makes visible the diversity of cultures, skills, networks and resourcefulness present in an area (eg long-term in Elephant&Castle). Peoples Bureau occupies a unique position in the context of community art, by engaging with a multitude of stakeholders including local residents, the developers, universities, Southwark Council, art institutions, activists and the media, thus creating a vibrant platform for contestation, negotiation and representation.
Through skill exchanges and other interactions, Sajovic and Davies act as community catalysts, activating individuals, communities and local organisations. Their collaborative practice has seen them work with Whitechapel Gallery, LCC, Chelsea College of Art, Tate Modern. Peoples Bureau is a Tate Exchange Associate.
In Elephant&Castle they have worked with over 20 local groups, regularly and actively engaging with over 200 local residents from Latin American, Bangladeshi and British communities. The project has been piloted at the Bootle Library in Liverpool and is currently working in Park Royal as part of a commission from Create.
Rebecca and Eva, with writer Sarah Butler recently completed the film ‘Unearthing Elephant’ which won the Research In Film award at the AHRC film awards, 2017.
Mouffe, C (2013) Agonistics. Thinking the world politically London/New York: Verso
Lee Berwick is a London based sound artist who is interested in space, energy and the physicality of sound.
As the 90’s turned to the 0’s Lee recorded all along the Thames, documenting a river and city different to the one we inhabit today.
Lee’s performance will dig through this forgotten strata of London’s sound history..
The London eye goes up, the Bankside landing stage outside what is now the Tate modern comes down and ships unload at the last London dockyard.
Bowls for At the Human Library Bootle, Liverpool
Produced in collaboration with the people from Bootle the two bowls are going into the kiln tomorrow.
Celebratory event: Tuesday 1 May, 1-3PM. Bootle Library, Liverpool.
Our project at Bootle Library, Liverpool written up in the Big Issue
In the summer 2017 we have been commissioned by curator Maria Brewster to make work for The Human Library at Bootle library, Liverpool.
The participatory project work that started around skill exchange led into a more in depth engagement with clay and photography, looking to bring the two together and always with community, conversation and sharing at its core.
Thank you The Big Issue for the write up.
Unearthing Elephant WINS the prestigious Research in Film Awards by AHRC.
Launched in 2015, the Research in Film Awards celebrate short films, up to 30 minutes long, that have been made about the arts and humanities and their influence on our lives.
Judges for the 2017 Research in Film Awards include Richard Davidson-Houston of Channel 4 Television, Lindsay Mackie Co-founder of Film Club and Matthew Reisz from Times Higher Education.
A special awards ceremony was held at BAFTA, on Thursday 9 November, where the winner of each of the categories was announced. Writer and broadcaster, Danny Leigh was hosting the event.
The winning films will be shared on the Arts and Humanities Research Council website and YouTube channel.
To follow the fortunes of the shortlisted films on Twitter via the hashtag #RIFA2017.
WATCH THE FILM HERE: https://vimeo.com/222385394
Elephant's Trumpet ISSUE 1 out in print and online (soon).
Pick up your copy whilst there are still a few left - fromt he Elephant&Castle shopping centre.
We have started working on ISSUE 2 - to come out mid December.