I Remember is an experimental film capturing delicate and authentic insight into the emotive refugee journey of one family. Travelling from Afghanistan to England by land and sea, this narrative explores the power of resilience in the wake of war and struggle. Placing a lens on intimate moments in challenging circumstances, and providing insight into the inner workings of a family risking their lives to find a new beginning. Watch one family tell a universal story of struggle and hope through their unique journey.
For this weekend Neelo is sharing a few excerpts from the film which will be released in full later this month.
Neelofar Abrahimi is a young creative and educator with a passion for storytelling. She was born in Afghanistan in 1995 during the height of Taliban rule over 20 years ago, causing her family to make a life changing decision in leaving Afghanistan to seek safety and security. From the age of one to seven years old, Neelofar grew up in refugee camps across the world, drastically altering her perspective and experience of life. Upon arriving and settling in England, Neelofar focused on her academic journey and excelled in achieving a Master's degree and began teaching in university. Nonetheless, her compelling first hand experience combined with a passion for storytelling led her to more creative pursuits. Following this passion, Neelofar founded Searching Souls, which is a platform that focuses on weaving together art, culture and technology to shed insight into nuanced emotive narratives with the aim of connecting human experiences. As a visionary, Neelofar's philosophy lies in the connectedness of all beings and her goal is to empower people and communities by highlighting common threads.
Ambient flotations with distorted memories
Birth of ego
In Ambient flotations with distorted memories, Sena surreally paints a Dada-inspired story of loss, looted life and the irreversible passage of time. In the arid landscape a mother ostrich is pictured lamenting, as a tiny human runs away with her unborn child. An alien apparition tears the sky apart to watch the incident. The swirling sky unravels in colour and chaos, pixelating around a totem pole made up of: squirrel, fish, old man, rock, tree, mother and baby.
Birth of ego dissects the concept of self. What does it mean to be ‘self’? How does one begin to define oneself in a constantly changing, turbulent world? Sena explores ego formation and ego death inspired by Jungian archetype theory. In this painting the journey of the ego striving to grow out of a rapidly shifting environment is likened to a chrysalis, drowning and rebirth.
Sena Appeah is a self-taught artist who lives and works in London. Her paintings explore imagined surreal worlds which she paints spontaneously, following the automatism school of thought. She is inspired by dreams, philosophy and colour theory.
The Tale of the Barbican
My grandad would tell me stories of industry, miners and protest as I drifted off to sleep. His stories were hazy and warm, his own little fairy tales that had me dreaming of state violence. In the morning he’d make me breakfast and drop me off at ballet. He would be asleep in the car waiting for me. I wondered what his dreams looked like, I wondered if his dream still lived on.
I was at my grandad’s last summer and he told me about the building of the Barbican Estate. It began in 1963 and during its construction, the site workers repeatedly went out on strike, fighting for greater protection of wages, and health and safety standards. His stories still sound like fairy tales to me.
Sally Barton is a multidisciplinary artist whose work explores class, the North of England, intergenerational relationships and storytelling.
Hope You See Me as a Friend
Earlier this year Cem A. created an exhibition that brought together elements of meme culture, art, and art history together in a site-specific intervention across the Barbican.
This video documents the exhibition and features an interview with the artist.
Cem A. is an artist and curator with a background in anthropology. He is known for running the art meme page @freeze_magazine.He currently works for documenta fifteen as a curatorial assistant while independently exhibiting as an artist, giving lectures/workshops and publishing.
Since its inception in 2019, @freeze_magazine has become a tool for creative collaborations between Cem and fellow artists, researchers and organisations. His memes explore topics such as survival and alienation in the art world, often through a hyper-reflexive lens.It has been featured in the New York Times, The Art Newspaper and Monopol Magazin.
Cosima Cobley Carr
Father, don’t you see I’m burning?
Father, don’t you see I’m burning? is a moving-image work combining sound, recorded and archival footage exploring the possibility of creating new meaning following destruction. Drawing on the work of artists working in the postwar period, different processes are used to create corporeal textures that erode and distort the formal archival elements. This work is informed by psychoanalysis, a process whereby, through finding new ways to articulate the traumatic past, one creates new possibilities of being in the future.
Cosima Cobley Carr is an interdisciplinary artist working across moving-image, collage, sound and performance. Their work engages with issues relating to language-use, social understanding and narratives in psychoanalysis and mental health. Across different media, they use a collage methodology, combining original, created components (shot film, recorded performance, painting and writing) with found elements, including archival material, found objects and text. Segments of highly constructed and conceptually-loaded material are placed in opposition to visceral, unembellished elements, creating an experience for the viewer that, in questioning the norms and constructions of society, simultaneously exposes the most basic and traumatic structures of our psychology.
Facesoul and Flames Collective
Facesoul comes from Somalia and is incredibly proud of the inheritance as it has given form his faith and cultural identity. As a child of the diaspora, his history and heritage has been bathed in the narrative of displacement due to war. He grew up a young Muslim in the years surrounding the war on terror amongst his people but ultimately it was through this that he taught himself how to harness that pain and create beauty. It’s with the support of the Urban Flames Collective that he would like to further display this beauty through the medium of a live performance. Showcasing songs from his new EP in a deconstructed acapella format. The pieces he has curated is a direct response to this lived experience. The focus being to share his story of hope and healing through song.
Using art as a vehicle for healing, Facesoul’s message is one with intent. Faisal Salah, known by his stage name ‘Facesoul’ is a London-based artist born in East Africa. At 19 he began traveling the world, performing for different communities and sharing his story through his voice. These travels proved to be a formative step for his development as an artist, in which he discovered that these people, even with their apparent differences in race, language and environment, shared the same common internal emotions and feelings. And in that they were not separate.
Faisal’s upbringing with traditional Islamic roots have been paramount to forming his truth and identity and his sense of spirituality is imbued in his practice. When he started performing at 15, he would combine his love of singing, poetry and storytelling as a tool to escape from the constraints of inner city living, and aspire for something better.
The Flames Collective is UD’s flagship programme, working with young people from inner-city secondary schools who demonstrate high potential when it comes to music.
Born in 2016, from a series of songwriting camps, Flames now gives 20+ young people with singing talent, recruited via the schools projects, an entry into the world of the professional music industry.
Our Four Walls
Made during the third national lockdown in 2021, Our Four Walls is a broadcast of soothing sonics known as Solfeggio Frequencies, produced with the aim of mass meditation. The 3-hour sound piece features seven different Solfeggio Frequencies, each with their own beneficial effect on the listener and the physical space they inhabit. For instance, 417Hz is thought to have the spiritual power to cleanse oneself and one’s home of negative energy. The 7 tones have been automated to play at random over the 3-hour period. Being randomised takes the composition out of human hands and bases the piece on ‘chance operations’ – a term originally coined by John Cage. Having a composition based on chance amplifies the unpredictability and uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic; and by eliminating the emotional aspect of the composition, the spiritual tones have adopted a machine-like sequencing. During a time of isolation and reliance on technology, Harry’s intent for this work is to allow the audience to escape their reality but also to ground themselves in the uncomfortable present.
The 7 different sine tones are 396, 417, 528, 639, 741, 852 and 963 Hz.
Harry Cross is a London based, multidisciplinary artist. He uses installation, sculpture and sound to explore the relationship between time and memory, ritual and mental health, as well as isolation and escapism. He believes everything is interconnected and seeks to understand the correlation between important issues. In an attempt to understand the here and now, Harry looks to the subject of isolation and escapism as they can be seen as defining factors of our present reality. Grappling with his own mental health, Harry has found solace in sound and investigates psychoacoustics and the beneficial effects of this invisible material on the mind and body.
Rosanna Hildyard and Samuel Petherbridge
Rosanna’s poem Deptford Audience explores the fragmented, voyeuristic experience of living in an urban community. It shows how, in this city, our experience is to be constantly misunderstanding, truncating, and ignoring the other lives going on around us – never understanding the brief glimpses we see, and never at enough distance to see the larger patterns and issues that exist outside our own perspective. Sam’s artistic emphasis uses gaps, different angles and broken views to drawn attention to the dramatic potential of things we usually ignore. As an outcome, the poem presents as a journey or broken map, with vital elements of a place cut out from its pages.
Rosanna Hildyard is an editor and writer from North Yorkshire. She is a Barbican Young Poet and an alumnus of the Roundhouse Poetry Collective. Her poetry and fiction has recently been published in Vittles, PERVERSE, Banshee and Modern Poetry in Translation, been shortlisted for the Benedict Kiely Award and come second in the Brick Lane Short Story Prize. Her short story collection, Slaughter, was longlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2021 and is available from Broken Sleep Books.
Samuel Petherbridge is a co-founder of artistic collectives Endmor and Art Matter, which exhibited at spaces including Art le Cuna, Tower Bridge and the APT Gallery, aiming to give a platform for young artists. A relational artist at heart, Sam has extensive experience working with non-professional artists to examine their own realities of life. This approach has seen him thrive as a teacher at Chelsea Fine Art and resident artist in Colombia, London and Bristol. In addition to his own ongoing practice, Sam continues to cement his interest in supporting the arts with others.
The embroidered letter correspondence, carried on the 10-metre fabric, becomes both a physical and metaphorical attempt to escape inertia during times of stagnation. As the needle and thread replace the keyboard, the artist is forced to renegotiate time and space; the laborious manual work confronts our – currently – stagnant world, an exercise on patience. Created in April 2021, during a time where our realities lied somewhere between the constraints of our physical, isolated world (behind four walls) and the freedom that sustains the never-ending, collective digital space, the work tries to reassemble these disjointed fragments of worlds. Unsent Letters seeks materiality within the digital, as a ‘protest’, as corporeality becomes an active participant in the creative process. The artist embroiders and actively waits for the inspiration to come.
Nefeli Kentoni is a theatre-maker, interdisciplinary artist, and writer. She is fascinated by the intersections between different disciplines, by the spaces where theatre and aesthetics, scenography and philosophy, filmmaking and poetry meet. The theatrical and cinematic form have been the platform in which she negotiates and experiments with the gaps between language and image, the implicit exertions that sustain the performer-viewer relationship, and the performativity of space. Nefeli has presented work in Prague Quadrennial, Tate Modern, the Barbican Centre, NiMac, and during 2020 she was Writer in Residency at Tate Exchange.
L U C I N E
we're not so different you and i...
"Where are you from? No, but where are you really from?" is one of the many microagressions that question an individual's belonging to space they have inhabited for long enough to feel a part of. Yet the question forces them to reconsider if they truly have a place in that space. This series of fabric prints attempts to depict a reality in which where one is really from need not exist in binary but instead be of their own making, choosing, their own sense of belonging.
L U C I N E is a transdisciplinary artist, mental health advocate, and creative facilitator who believes in using a cross-arts approach to create unique, immersive experiences for all people to enjoy and feel equal in. Their eclectic taste and multifaceted worldview enable them to create work that provides an alternate reality for those who experience it. It is their wish to continuously challenge perceptions of the human experience and encourage lifelong curiosity.
This intervention on the Conservatory windows replicates scribbles found around London which form short dialogues, responding to ads and events; graffiti which has brought attention at the risk of imprisonment. While the content of the messages invites comparison between austerity Britain and postwar economic depression, it also seems illustrative of the unique challenges to artistic freedom today in the context of surveillance, the privatisation of public space and the PCSC bill. Artists of the recent past, like Banksy, have been celebrated for doing what is gravely punishable today, calling into question the authenticity of artists who become legitimised by establishment and commercial collaboration, and therefore the limitations of safely insulated cultural spaces like the Barbican.
For more information and source photos: www.beccalynes.com/weekender
Becca Lynes is interested in art as socioeconomic critique, taking found material to construct dark time capsules of the recent past to function as cautionary tales. In 2020 she presented Becca Becomes a Real Girl at the Barbican, a personal story of a hijacked adolescence full of romantic expectation, and continues to utilise imagery from a distinctly UK context, interested in both our relationship with American culture and our very British class system.
THE FUTURE IS DEAD LONG LIVE THE FUTURES
As part of Age of Many Posts, Sulaïman Majali presents THE FUTURE IS DEAD LONG LIVE THE FUTURES, a poem in quarrel with the idea of post as after. The poem takes the 1442 statement of contradiction used to simultaneously declare the death of the king and the accession of the king to locate itself in confrontation with the spatial and temporal logics of the colonial in its deading of histories and their futures.
Taking the form of a banner in the conservatory the poem thinks in the blurs of double meaning, speaking the institution and the court of the king to encounter empire's bordered separations between this and that; here and there; todays and their tomorrows; performing the contradictory poetics of the clown at the precipice. Existing both “online” and in its constructed oppositional “offline”, the poem inhabits the garden as a site of peripherality where it was always the end of the world tomorrow
Sulaïman Majali (b.1991/1771/1412/2941/1492) is an artist poet who brings into play rupturing, grieving and dreaming as methodologies of collapse. Considering art as an already thinking and speaking thing, the artists agitate/incite/perform towards poetic and conceptual strategies. At issue in the play is the liberatory or otherwise. Majali is the current recipient of the 2022 Margaret Tait Award, a year long LUX Scotland commission delivered in partnership with Glasgow Film, with support from Screen Scotland. Exhibitions and events include: false dawn, a solo exhibition at Studio Pavillion for Glasgow International Biennial 2021. IMG_5917, produced with Camara Taylor, commissioned by Artists’ Moving Image Festival, GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW: PART 6, LUX Scotland, online (2021). assembly of the dispersed, part of The Internet of Things, Darat al-Funun, Amman, Jordan/online (2020). strange winds, a sound commission for The Common Guild’s In The Open (2020). saracen go home, a solo exhibition at Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2019). Towards an archive, 8th Cairo Video Festival (2017).
Hireath is a poem on displacement, suffocation within an idealised home, and the feeling of being ‘lost’ at home. The poem explores and repositions familiar imagery to Welsh culture and identity such as its green landscapes and rivers, its daffodils and harps - repositioning them as emblems of dread, as haunting mascots of the past. The word ‘Hiraeth’ is spelled out throughout the poem in italics, as so to represent how present it was in my mind.
Sarah McCreadie is a poet, performer and lesbian heartthrob from Cardiff, living in London. Sarah has performed her poetry from Newport to New York. She is a Barbican Young Poet, a BBC 1Xtra Words First poet, resident artist alumni at the Roundhouse theatre and a former member of the Roundhouse's poetry collective. Sarah’s poetry will be published in Articulations for Keeping the Light In, and the book will be released in July 2022 by flipped eye publishing. She has also collaborated with Vanity Fair, ITV and The Guilty Feminist podcast. You can find Sarah and her work on YouTube or on Twitter at @Girl_Like_Sarah.
Maite de Orbe
I’ve been home all along
I’ve been home all along is a motor-driven performative sculpture that explores the relationship between technology and identity. Through a clumsy collision between an inaccurate needle and a glass, which shields a photograph taken by their dad of their younger self, this project looks at the emotional human responses to the vastness of electronic networks, the intimacy with which we use them, and the disempowerment that accompanies the lack of understanding of how they really work.
Born in Madrid to a Sorian and Basque family, Maite de Orbe is a Spanish London-based photographer and researcher working around the themes of identity, belonging and connection. Combining the mediums of photography, video and technology, they explore the way we build stories for ourselves, process history, exchange narratives and generate dynamics.
They are interested in their generation (97) – its genders, parties, relationship to the environment and consumerism – the idols they had when growing up, their cultural backgrounds and their frustrations.
Maite de Orbe’s practice is one that aims to make visible and communicate in an art form the conversations they have with their friends. They love rituals, hand gestures, and family albums.
We Want To Remember The Sea
We Want To Remember The Sea is an audio-visual piece which asks us to imagine a ‘post-sea’ future. If we lost the sea, how would we try to remember it? What would be recoverable and what would be lost forever?
Arabella Turner is an artist who works with lens based media, including video, 3D rendering software and games engines.
Often these works take the form of short films and multimedia installations. Common questions in her practice are: What can our relationships with technology teach us about our inner lives? How can technology empower/disempower us? And, when does an image have a sense of inner life?
Nuestra Cocina is 10-minute short film of two poems, written by Phoebe Wagner, and a chat with her Mum about them. Filmed in 2020, Phoebe layers footage of her hometown (Croydon), family relics and photos alongside moments from their conversation over Zoom. They explore their Spanish heritage, growing up in London, the significance of poetry and mother-daughter relationships.
Phoebe Wagner (she/her) is a poet and community artist. Her work explores politics in the personal with people. She published her debut pamphlet The Body You're In with Bad Betty Press in 2019. In 2021, she was nominated for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship and was commissioned for Helen Kirkum's London Fashion Week show. Her love of trainers inspired her to establish Crep Project, an arts collective exploring sneaker culture with working class people. She's part of the Poetry Translation Centre’s Polylingual Poets Please programme, a Barbican Young Poet and Visual Artist.