Multilingual arts, creative resistance and mental well-being brief

WP11 will provide a dramaturgical and devised shape to the evaluation and monitoring of migration and inequality as it forms, is represented and as data sets develop. This means that WP11 will identify meaningful materials and relationships in each corridor and through the work packages which distil the essence for communication or the work of the Hub. For example, in past projects this approach has meant a careful consideration of transcripts and literature surveys from which key [idioms and phrases have been distilled and then used to expand on the generative themes present in research, and to enable others - especially our partner in Noyam and LitFest Harare to produce representations of the research. Key themes will be generated from the corridors and research packages but will focus on core concepts, multilingual renderings of these concepts and aesthetic, acoustic, visual and sensory devising and dramaturgy, with a focus on live and digitalisation of live performance. Poetry, dance, music, story-telling and working with found objects, natural objects and textiles / fashion will be core to the work. We envisage working firstly with the concept of corridors and with materials - focused on cloth, beads and gourds in the first instance; with storytelling focused on migration inequalities; with southern indigenous and oral histories and songs relating to migration. Each corridor will provide artists and contacts for the WP11 artist-researchers to work alongside for both the making of work and recording of this work in each corridor (and through corridor budgets) and then synthesising and considering the artistic evaluation through at least one arts conference / UNESCO Spring School to be hosted in the Global South in year 4 of the work (and year 2 if funds permit). Working with both LitFest/CHIPAWO, with Poetry and with the Ha Orchestra, NOYAM Institute for African and alongside PosNeg will allow a diversity of forums and partners to turn the generative

Research Inquiry

The Arts and Humanities do not generally proceed using research questions or even methodology. They are evaluating modes of inquiry which seek to interrogate, stimulate, prod and examine critically, and to proceed aesthetically and rhetorically through dialogue, argument, debate and hermeneutics. In addition, they can work through practice-led artistic inquiry, which relies on ways of working which are disciplined in each artistic genre and which for which both artistic process and artistic product are important. In both process and product, the arts and humanities offer ways of evaluating and monitoring the health and wellbeing of societies, communities and in the case of WP 11 of migration and inequality across the corridors and WPs. Whilst it is possible to generate research questions to true to the developmental, dramaturgical, pedagogic, multilingual and multi-disciplinary nature of the work of the hub, WP11 will not be submitting research questions. As each corridor and WP proceeds WP11 will consider, critically analyse and intervene artistically, and through multilingual approaches to translate what resonates aesthetically. This will be done to enable corridor-based artists to work conduct their work in dialogue with the migrant artist-researchers in WP11 and to provide decolonising forums for discussion of a) artistic and multilingual making processes and b) artistic and multilingual work in its final display. Each Corridor will be responsible, with WP11, for commissioning artistic work to reflect and intervene in its own research, in consultation with both WP11 and PositiveNegatives. PositveNegatives and WP11 will work in close dialogue, in synthesis and also independently, to develop critical views of each other’s work, and also to create artwork, and reflection on multilingual research and artistic research within the Hub.

Multilingual Arts, Creative Resistance and Well-Being = ARTS

WP11 will:

  • Discover and articulate the unique qualities of arts engagement for individuals and groups/communities experiencing south-south migration cycles, inequality, development and their ripple effects
  • Examine what opportunities arts projects and creative processes and products/artefacts are available and how they are used by individuals and communities in each migration corridor and where they are ‘resourced’ from (Ngos, churches, mosques, families, villages, districts, cultural institutions)
  • Understand how arts engagement ties in with forms of displacement from relationships, kinships, objects, food and culture (music of home, cloth, everyday objects/life from the cradle to the grave – rites and rituals of passage) and where these may be found within new geographical settings of the corridors transitioned. Example annual festivals and ceremonies.
  • Identify models of creative practice that are best placed to ensure participants are themselves devising and making work and replenishing and appreciating (in context) their tangible and intangible cultural heritage.
  • Bring a decolonising aesthetic to how more functional/ use-based concepts of arts for wellbeing or arts for social cohesion
  • Experience art making through participation in art projects within corridors and by fusing experiences into productions at future festivals.
  • Demand exploration and devising not representation and scripting; generic themes not documentary realism, unless there is good reason to document or represent.

WP11 Statements for Practice-as-Arts

  • Creative inquiry is the bedrock of our research, undertaken by being artist researchers; inquiring creators; critical narrators; narrating critiques.
  • Rehearsal, repetition and practice / process are more significant that the art work. The art works and the work of arting.
  • We are wary of the fetish of the new. Instead we repeat and work with other fetishes – especially the calabash, beads, cloth, vessels.
  • We produce social drama and migratory aesthetics as ceremony and ritual not as entertainment, in order that they might do the necessary presenting and catharsis, as opposed to packaging and product.
  • We work critically, to use elements we experience or elements of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, mindful of and playful with questions of cultural appropriation.
  • Comedy, tragedy, joy and gratitude are core to our generative moods (modes? – moods ) of practice.
  • Creative collective migratory (self) authorship and ownership as principles of the work (this will need Intellectual Property Discussion of the most rigorous and innovative kinds. Suggest we engage with copyright folk in CRE8 on this).
  • Addresses cultural, artistic, linguistic and wellbeing inequalities as manifest in migration in the global south.
  • Attention to aesthetic and linguistic labour of migrating (well).
  • Thick description and phenomenological double breaks.
  • Multimodality – do not expect only academic papers but do expect academic papers. Do expect the papers to strive for forms which reflect the material experiences of migrating and art making and creative inquiring.
  • The labour of letting other rest and the resting of our labour to enable listening and stillness and silence.
  • Scaffolding and space holding for enabling others to engage in creative inquiring and arts practice. This space may not always be entirely comfortable.
  • Discomfort I. The ability of the body to dance or the artist to mix or for a rehearsal to fumble its way to a harmony or a fluid performance is discomforting. Discomfort is necessary for these embodied ways of learning.
  • Discomfort II What is produced and said and made might cause disquiet, anger, trouble, vex. This is one of the roles of art as part of social drama. It aims to repose the day, the event, the experience, what is seen and heard, into new constellations so that they might be experience afresh and that they might be generative or cathartic.
  • Imprecise; incoherent; unravelling; entangled; enmeshed; scattered; gathered; opaque; secret; strange; unyielding; flow; inefficient; extravagant; abundant; spare.
  • Gift.
  • Observing artistic (inquiry) process as engagement, interaction and transformation in the context of the development of the individual, groups and communities.
  • Reflecting on process, concepts, ideas, knowledge and understanding, practice and belief systems (of everyday life in migration) and reflecting on reflection using artistic resources.
  • Conduction Arts as research practice, language and care and caring language and enrichment
  • Making sense of the chaos of ordering – the self and the other Arts and artistic practice as a valued aspect processes of ‘unbecoming to become’ deconstructing to reconstruct/reconstitute identities and negotiating dominant power structures.