I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Arts Council England for supporting me to research and grow as a Visual artist through granting me the DYCP award. Truly humbled and honoured I got to meet the wonderful participants from around the world and community focus organisations in Nottingham. My responsibility is huge for the community as a visual artist and I am here for it! At the same time I would like to learn new skills to develop my practice in future. The DYPC grant allowed me not only to hit my target in time, but exceed it.My primary aspiration is to build on this experience and apply for future funding to present this project to a wider audience in 2022/23 bringing my practice to the national and international stage.
And here, we’re immigrants, and even if we fully assimilate the culture, we don’t think we ever fully belong here. Our life is divided between there and here. Our history is forever in two countries (or more!). – Participant Joana from Portugal
“When you photograph a face… you photograph the soul behind it.” – Jean-Luc Godard
Through this work I established a creative dialogue with families and individuals to create a series of portraits using photography, text, and audio recordings - interpreting and reflecting a deeper understanding of people’s personal experiences of mental health during political, social and environmental upheaval in their home countries, looking at current events including the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan as well as Russia and Ukraine war.
The project, titled ‘At the crossroads’ allowed me to learn and listen to immigrants in Nottingham, also empowered and gave public voice to individuals within these communities. The DCYP grant allowed me to integrate focused research into my practice as a photographer and educator. I focused my practice in social engagement, working within a community setting.
I believe that during this time of global uncertainty my work is able to connect people from Nottingham’s immigrant communities whose mental wellbeing has been or is at that time affected by current affairs in their home countries, helping to build an essential network for support and unity. The photographic series I have created will shape my professional development, ambitions that are driven by my own cultural background and my creative journey.
In the future , I would like to spend more time researching and looking at examples of projects that use the Co - Creation model. How can it help you actively listen and collaborate with the community, form partnerships and help put this into practice. Apart from that I would like to learn about moving images in the future.
How is your mental wellbeing affected by the current affairs in your home country. If no one lives back home what is the scenario?