Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Negotiate Your Place

A great conversation at the Know Your Place event at the German Gym in King’s Cross last night. I could have carried on for at least another hour!

Some ideas and themes that stuck with me:

1. The negotiation of power within residencies – how can and should a writer approach a residency? As an anarchist, a negotiator? Nick Mahoka made a good point that he thought organisations who asked for a residency were to some extent asking a question, inviting a line of inquiry. Lemn Sissay talked about the need for commissioners to take a creative approach.

2. The balance between structure and freedom, and the role of the organisation in supporting and enabling the writer to really work magic.

3. The need to accept that you can’t know what will happen in a residency, balanced with the need to draw boundaries (especially to do with resources), and then to measure and advocate for the work done.

4. Kat Joyce talked about her One Mile Away residency and how all of the stories and conversations amassed into something bigger than its constituent parts, and also the satisfaction she found in watching new connections being made within a neighbourhood as a result of her work.

5. Lee Mallet commented that within the field of regeneration there is a real need for work like this to deepen our (and specifically planners/architects/developers’) understanding of place.

6. Tamsin Dillon from Art on the Underground talked about their growing interest not just in the physicality of the Underground but also in ‘the people who animate those contexts’.

And so much more!

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