The Lose of Community
- 04 January, 2019
- Linda Brogan
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We left 2018 talking about mixed race mental illness. We enter 2019 with a plan to unearth its cause. A technique I learned in psychotherapy called mentalisation – listening then processing, instead of assuming and reacting. To help us contextualise our half-caste Reno story in the fabric of society. Why did England sign post No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs? What were the average person’s feelings at the time?
Excavating the Reno is currently in residence in the Whitworth. A residency expects you to respond to art you encounter in the host venue.
23rd Nov exactly a year after we colonised the Whtworth with our memoirs, artefacts, teen photos, and danced to Reno DJs in the Whitworth main hall, we visited South African born William Kentridge's exhibition. It gave Phil Collins Snr the idea to use our exhibition to stage a protest of our own.
3rd of Dec I unveiled our exhibition concept: reconstruct an 'artistic' Reno with our excavation photos and strategically placed artefacts, and people it with teen photos.
Over Xmas I planned how to use the recycled remains of South African born William Kentridge's exhibition to reconstruct our Reno.
Over New Year I realised inside our reconstructed Reno we could stage our own Truth and Reconciliation. By using a technique I learned in psychotherapy called mentalisation – listening then processing, instead of assuming and reacting – to contextualise our half-caste Reno story in the fabric of society.
By collecting the memoirs of the people who populated the world we were born into by concentrating on a different facet each month.
Sept] Our Reno reconstruction is launched with a marquee celebration.
Oct] We collect English born white people's pre 1947 memoirs.
Nov] We collect the pre 1947 memoirs of black people before they came to England.
Dec] The white's anticipation of black arrival/ the black's sea voyage [1947 to 1957]
Jan] Shared experiences: transport, work, shop, socialising. [1947 to 1957]
Feb] Love: black women arriving to husbands with half caste children/ white women being ostracised.
12pm: Reno Dj Persian plays.
1pm: Mancunian memoir; live-streamed
2pm: Panel discussion about the memoir; live-streamed
3pm: Reno DJ Persian plays.
As Brian says in the last video of 2018. ‘It’s survival.’
We've all been engaged in survival.
Let's listen to theirs to make sense of our own.
The implications are staggering. Why did England sign post No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs? What were the average person’s feelings at the time? What is the subtext? The current trapped below? True motivation? How were they manipulated? The effects of the bombsites; rations; their need to survive the Second World War; a tiny island once under German siege, under siege once more?
The lose of their sense of community.
As digital artist Sean Clarke says in our first video of 2019: 'Community is something I yearn for.'
March] Our combined stories confirm we are all pages in the book of our collective time on this earth, which we will celebrate with a huge event for us all.
Reno memoirist, who wrote Grafters, Colin Blaney's mum and Dad
Mr and Mrs Mayisi. Reno head Mike Mayisi's mum and dad. Sadly Mike past before he had chance to tell his memoir.