Since July 2021, Fusion Arts has been supporting the development of the Migrant Meridian project, in partnership with artist Mahmoud Mahdy, who is part of the artist collective BLKBRD. This project aims to create a new archive of contemporary oral histories from refugees and migrant cultures in Britain through participatory research, community exhibitions and interactive experiences of digital art.
The project is ongoing with workshops that explore the above themes and engage with diverse migrant and refugee communities planned to take place this year. Themes will be structured around the sensory experience of migration and while each series/workshop will be autonomous, leading to its own community exhibition, they will each also be contributing to the creation of the new digital archive. Importantly, these two outputs will enable others to gain insight into the contemporary experiences of migrants and refugees.
Mahmoud has also contributed a blog post to Fusion's website, entitled Meridians for the Steadfast and the Unmeasurable, in which he discusses migrant journeys in relation to displacement, spirituality, units of time and Britain's colonial heritage - a thought provoking piece on how we understand and confront migrant culture.
What is the migrant experience or, rather, can we even speak of it in such homogenising language?
At a time when we so casually refer to migrant experience as if we know what that means, this piece challenges what voices we are platforming, which we are leaning on, as well as, what experiences we are side-lining, prompting one to seriously consider what a re-assessment of how we engage with migrant culture could look like. A creative pieces that pushes us to consider what it means to be present, and the potentiality of thinking in terms that question one's own positionality, Mahmoud's writing shows just how important it is not to become comfortable with the narrative in the face of true injustices.
“...No imperial, nor metric measuring system could measure migrants’ wounds...”
Fusion Arts work with artists, groups and communities from across Oxfordshire and beyond to support a variety of imaginative and socially engaged projects.
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