For 2020, all of our work focuses in some way around the concept of home. The inspiration for this is personal, professional and political. I wrote all the project plans against the turmoil of Brexit, the Conservative party leadership contest, a global climate protest and reports in the rise of hate crimes.
On a personal level, I was also a mum trying to find my own relationship between work and home. I was trying to contribute to buying a home for said small children. Against this, I was trying to navigate some sort of understanding of what was going on in the world. On a professional level, I recognised I was struggling myself, I wondered how young people will navigate themselves through the next few years.
As a student, I had the benefits of ERASMUS during university. As a mother, I feel saddened by the loss of freedom of movement. I also believe people are stronger together in the face of adversity. Yet, I can understand why people voted for Brexit. Austerity has bitten at the ankles of people for years now, its personal opinion whos door you put the blame at. So our relationships with our home are entwined with our politics. I have no clear cut answer but often feel overwhelmed and confused by conflicting opinion and the unpleasant nature of social media at times
So the aim of HOME is to provide a place for young people to have time and space to process what they want from the world around them. Whilst also been given a space to laugh, make friends and unwind. I think art is good at this – asking big questions in an informal way.
I have no vision of the finished point of the work we are launching. Against the backdrop of the last few months, it’s been quite hard to talk about it. It’s a collection of thoughts and ideas of how to have some complex conversations in a more accessible way.
In Things to do in a Blackout, we’re looking at the rise in crime during WW2 and how Homelife was affected. There are subtle parallels to life today – austerity, nationalism, gang crime, looting, relationship with Europe. Already, we’ve started to see conversations about Trump and WW3, a questioning of whether politicians lie and a comparison to the London riots.
Within The Village of Kindness we have the joy of 8 year old inventing council chambers where the sole responsibility of the Mayor is to keep his town happy. This is pitted with 15 year olds redesigning social media channels to be a force for good. Along with a newspaper that is written on the principals of kindness rather than fake news or other.
In Wonderland, we’re looking at the idea of coming home – to yourself. How to talk about mental health, depression and anxiety and be kinder to yourself.
This is pitted with new projects exploring notions of joy & being happy to chat in our new podcast project.
They are all starting points for making something. It is a good journey to be on and maybe we all find we’ve come home by the end of the year.