Arts and Heritage

The Monitoring Group aims to tackle racism in many ways. We have actively worked with artists over the past 10 years to highlight how racist discourse manifests itself in people’s imagination on a daily basis. Furthermore, our work on Heritage project has sought to bring out hidden stories from Britain’s past, showing how diversity and multiculturalism are not part of modern Britain, but can be charted back over 1,000 years. When people arrived to the UK on HMS Windrush, it was not the beginning of a story of Black Britain’s, but just another chapter.

Some of the projects we have developed are :

2006     Devon rural photography project (funded by Carnegie Trust)

We engaged with BMER communities living in the rural South West and used photovoice techniques to bring a greater understanding of their lives in rural Britain. The images were taken by the participants themselves and some of the images were showcased in a photography exhibition.

2007     Pastures New – Galleries of Justice, Nottingham (funded by Arts Council)

This project challenges racial and religious intolerance by helping visible minorities living in rural East Midlands articulate their experiences in ways which promote better race relations, influence changes in attitudes towards racism and become proactive catalysts for change.

We will worked with three groups of local people who are members of a minority group and live in rural areas of East Midlands region – Lincolnshire Gypsy Liaison group, Lincolnshire Portuguese society and Chesterfield African Caribbean Community Association. Each group attend a series of 5 photography workshops led by professional lens based artists/practitioners, over 8 months, culminating in local exhibitions the NCCL Galleries of Justice during Black History month.

2008     We Come from Your Future

This project comprised of two episodes in which we asked, “What are the sounds of anti-racism?” Posing this question in the context of anti-racist and migrant organizing in the UK, the first episode features a set of dispatches that combine audio compositions with accompanying field reports. These online dispatches lead up to and inform an on-site event as part of the Triennial Prologues: Altermodern at Tate Britain on June 28. The project was collaboration with the Ultra Red collective.

2011     Patrin – Gypsy Heritage project – New Art Exchange Nottingham (funded by HLF)

siobhan005The project used photography as a tool to examine the past and present live sof the Gypsy communities across the East Midlands.

We worked collaboratively with the community to :

(1) To increase the sense of pride and knowledge of the gypsy community living the East Midlands by creating a community focused living history website, book and educational material using archives material, oral history interviews, video interviews, soundscapes and photographs

(2) To ensure that the memories of the local gypsy community are captured and preserved for future generations before they are lost

(3) To create opportunities for active learning through the website, exhibition and accompanying education packs

(4) To create innovative ways to engage new audiences and break down prejudice of gypsy heritage through an interactive website and online discussion opportunities.

(5) To ensure the active participation of the gypsy community in the development of the project, and teaching new skills in photography, sound recording, and website skills.

The project delivered an art exhibition, a book and a website which is now managed by the local gypsy community themselves.

For more information go HERE

2014     Young Rebels – the story of the Southall Youth Movement (funded by HLF)

We worked on behalf on The Asian Health Agency to interview and gather documentary material for a documentary film. The film has been shown in the local community and also on a website we have created. The documentary tells the story of the Southall Youth Movement through interviews with people who were actually involved in the movement.

The film can be seen below