Last year the British Prime Minster famously said ‘ If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere’. Why is it so easy to discard what connects us all? What can be created from the rejected fragments?
During a workshop these ideas were explored and discussed. Staff and students drew world maps from memory and punched out portions of ‘citizenship of somewhere and nowhere’. One participant commented ‘If I’m a citizen of the world I have to accept other people – I can’t be a citizen of nothing’. During the seminar we reflected further on questions of home, migration and belonging, this time focused more specifically on urban dwelling. What does it mean to feel at home – or not at home – in the city? What does home mean in a context shaped by complex patterns of migration, mobility and connections with people and places from other parts of the globe? We explored the possibilities and challenges of engaging with these questions through creative practice and drew on examples from the Home-City- Street project as well as Globe. The seminar involved a rich and lively discussion of the themes evoked by these projects prompting questions such as ‘what does it mean to bring private memories and ideas (of home) into the public’? and ‘do the markers of migrant journeys always signify distress?’
Finally, we reflected on the often fuzzy distinction between creative practice as research tool and collaboration with artists and creative practitioners. We discussed the importance of distinguishing between the processes of doing research and making art and the desire for tangible outputs. What might result from the encounter between shared and distinct approaches?
Thanks to Paolo Boccagni and the HOMInG team for inviting us to share Globe’s story in Italy.
Olivia Sheringham and Janetka Platun