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Immigrant Tongues: Tour and Roundtable

Saturday, 2 June 2018
2 – 5pm

Immigrant Tongues
Saturday 2 June

Exhibition tour with mixrice: 2–3pm
Round-table discussion: 3–5pm

Immigrant Tongues began with mixrice’s artworks and the late artist, novelist and teacher Svetlana Boym’s question: ‘How does art mediate across the borders and speak in immigrant tongues with multiple accents?’

Through theatre groups, urban gardens and film clubs, this round-table discussion explored community-building practices by and for migrant and refugee communities in the UK and Korea and asked ‘What tools and resources could the arts use to build and nurture diverse communities?’

This event included contributions from mixrice (Jieun and Chulmo); Hyunsook Ahn (MAKU, Seoul); Rabab Ghazoul (Gentle/Radical), Sofia Niazi (OOMK and Rabbits Road Press), Felipe Molina (Mother Gardens/Kushinga Community Garden), and Charles Mjawe (Kushinga Community Garden).

This event launched our new also-space Another Reality, a new space for hosting, which opens up the gallery to new users and uses. We will be serving Korean Tea throughout the afternoon.

Immigrant Tongues was part of the events programme which accompanies mixrice’s solo exhibition Migrating Flavours.

Contributor Bios

Rabab Ghazoul (b. Mosul, Iraq. Lives and works in Cardiff) is a visual artist who explores our negotiations of the political. She works with different media and processes, and is interested in the nuance of private and public affiliation; the relationship of wider (political) frameworks upon the personal, and the daily. Her work comes about in different ways: appearing as video, installation, text, performance, or public realm intervention and encounter. Sometimes her artworks are conversations, lasting a day or a year.  The ‘public’ realm, the realm of people, is her primary context. Whether organising a march, a choir, a gathering or a debate, these activities often questions what, in practice and in aspiration, words such as ‘community’, ‘democracy’, or ‘belonging’ might mean.

Hyunsook Ahn (lives and works in Seoul, Korea) is an independent curator and co-director of MAKU: Research, Production and more. Hyunsook studied Fine Art and Art Theory in Seoul, and was a curator of one of the early alternative spaces Ssamzie Space (2007-2009), Gyeonggi Creation Center by GyeongGi, Cultural Foundation (2010-2012) and an organizer of NASN (Nonprofit art spaces network). She has worked on exchange projects with various international institutions including the Arab Society (Korea), Hangar (Spain), Tokyo wonder Site (Japan), Asialink (Australia), Frame Visual art Finland (Finland) PERFORMA/Independent Curators International (ICI)/Residency Unlimited (USA).

Sofia Niazi is an artist and illustrator working and living in London. She completed an MA in illustration at Kingston University. As part of OOMK, she currently runs a community risograph print studio in Newham, Rabbits Road Press, with studio mates Rose Nordin and Heiba Lamara. She employs various digital and hand drawn techniques in her work and explores themes relating to technology, politics and animals. Sofia has produced work for Migration Museum, Museum of London, Barbican and The Guardian, amongst others. She regularly leads workshops and delivers talks about her work in community, gallery and academic settings.

Felipe Molina is a director of the related community organisations Spring to Life, Food Forest Brum and Mother Gardens. promotes community resilience and mutual aid within and across communities in Birmingham, by working with food growing groups and individuals to grow, propogate and share beneficial plants with one another. The project was set up in 2013 and is funded by Barrow Cadbury Trust. He is also involved in Kushinga Community Garden – working with refugees and migrants growing food and connecting with local communities. Felipe has also trained in psycho-social therapy and has worked in mental health for over 15 years, in a wide range of settings.

Charles Mjawe is in charge of communications for Kushinga Community Garden, where he is an active member. Kushinga Community Garden involves migrants, refugees and local community gardeners. It was started in May 2011, and the Bournville Village Trust have allowed the group to cultivate some unused land behind Raddlebarn Road.