Today we had interim presentations, with the aim of updating our tutors and fellow course mates on our progress with our FMP’s so far and what we wanted to get on with next.
- My concept is what I am calling a dystopian experiential set of “interventions” which take you through a narrative-based exhibition, where the simple use of various borders and objects will obstruct the participant’s route through each point.
- It is all about “breaking borders” and getting the message out there that the refugee crisis is now a fully-blown humanitarian crisis
- My aim is to take the customary thresholds that we are used to and bring them to the forefront of people’s attention; to the awareness of policy-makers and government bodies so that the refugee crisis is dealt with, rather than being left to continuously-failing projects to try and make a difference
- I plan to create a series of pop-up interventions that interrupt people’s route or journey, using materials that replicate those used in refugee camps such as steel fencing and the materials used for living such as tarpaulin and timber – increasing the juxtaposition between what we are used to and the poor materials refugees find to use
- Throughout my research I have been heavily influenced by Ai Weiwei’s work and his powerful, artistic statements and hope to translate the similar sort of shocking declarations through my concept
- The function of my concept is to raise awareness and provoke the change that is needed – aiming primarily at the main governments involved in Europe, policy-makers and diplomats
- The experience is about provoking people to think – changing people’s perception of how they get from one place to another and therefore comparing this to the refugees’ own experiences, highlighting the trials that they go through on their journey to safety by interrupting the somewhat ordinary streetscape that we are used to
- The interventions will act as a replica of the journey, or at least parts of the journey that refugees take – appealing to passers-by as humans
- As it stands currently, the ideas I have for each point could include: border entry point, boarding transport, entry into a camp and then finally facing the reality of the numbers – of course all of these being on a much smaller scale than in reality
- With regards to my chosen site, this is something that I have been stuck on for a while now and after a recent tutorial, I feel that the location and my audience are elements which interlink and have an influence over how this experience is taken in
- As a result, I have chosen to locate my concept in close proximity to parliamentary buildings, such as the Houses of Parliament; the meeting places of politicians and policy-makers who have the real power to make the changes needed for this crisis to be tackled
- These locations are useful due to the mixed demographic and high footfall, meaning that they have the potential to reach a lot of people
- Street is the ideal place because in essence I am forcing the upon the public – perhaps something that wouldn’t be achieved if it was set up in an enclosed space and therefore by disturbing their everyday journeys it creates a higher impact
- Approaching this crisis on a human level is something that I have noticed throughout my research that is particularly lacking and varies greatly in scale
- So often we are made to feel like this is an out of reach crisis, yet each day it worsens and gets closer to our lives, which is why I feel that bringing the issue closer to home will give rise to change
- The exhibition will be temporary, lasting from a (24 hrs) up to a week, with the target of highlighting the urgency of this crisis and how quickly change needs to be made, in order for both the refugees and countries hosting them to mutually benefit.
- Looking forward to the next steps and final stages of my FMP, my aims are to:
- Resolve the locations I will be using
- The number of interventions I will be creating
- Defining the materials that I will be using and looking at temperature and lighting in more detail
- I am also in the process of looking into how I can translate the numbers of refugees into something physical – representing this in a way to shock those interacting with the exhibit, taking inspiration from some of the object symbols associated with refugees such as passports or life jackets and displaying these to candidly demonstrate the lives lost.
- I need to resolve what will happen at each “intervention” and map them out
- Use the backstory of refugees to really inform the narrative
- Consider the interactive and physical tools that I can use to create the experience
- Look at how it can contrast strongly with the existing vernacular