Precarity Centre: SW4 7JR

Organised by They Are Here

If a former chapel is now a gallery, what might it become next? Artist collective They Are Here transform Studio Voltaire into Precarity Centre – a social project offering free workshops and activities. Precarity Centre is an experiment in what a gallery can be and what might take place there.

Precarity Centre is an itinerant, conceptual framework for an interdisciplinary programme of talks, workshops and performances, exploring and mitigating against precarity.[1]

[1] Precarity is a precarious existence, lacking in predictability, job security, material or psychological welfare. The social class defined by this condition has been termed the precariat.

Precarity Centre is also an experiment in social space, seeding interaction between local precarious groups, the arts community and those who work in the public sector. The project echoes the multi–layered activities of community centres, which continue to suffer disinvestment across London and the wider UK. Precarity Centre is intended to be relevant to local concerns, whilst bridging diverse forms of inquiry and knowledge.

They Are Here stress that this project cannot be a substitute for public services or organised campaigning to support public services. Flyers and literature advertising existing social support work will be displayed on site, working with neighbourhood groups to amplify their activities.

 

All events are free, or by donation, and welcome to all on a drop in basis.


Should you wish to register your interest in a specific activity please click here…


Programme of events

Precarity Centre launch and live performance
Wednesday 2 August 2017, 7–9pm

Live performances from They Are Here and Mx World. They Are Here present 24 Bubbles / 24 Statements, a new performance in collaboration with professional bubble blower Wojciech Solarski. Deptford–based composer Mx World will combine traditional methods of songwriting with sampling, sound collage and audio–processing techniques, creating atmospheric, experimental pop music.

Movement workshop for senior citizens
Thursday 3 August 2017, 12–1pm

Led by dancer and dance therapist Thiru Seelan, the workshop is comprised of a series of simple and playful exercises that encourage self-reflection through movement and music. No experience necessary, this workshop is for all abilities. We suggest you wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.

Shared lunch
Thursday 3 August 2017, 1–2pm

A free communal lunch open to all and providing a space for conversation.

Discussion: Mental health and the Metropolis
Thursday 3 August 2017, 3–5pm

Facilitated by psychotherapist and artist Noemi Lakmaier, this discussion focuses on the non–pharmaceutical strategies we can consider to support our mental health, especially in an urban context.

Workshop: An introduction to Permaculture
Thursday 3 August 2017, 6.30–8pm
Led by Graham Burnett, this workshop will introduce the concept of permaculture, an innovative framework for creating sustainable ways of living that can be used by anyone, anywhere.

Movement workshop
Friday 4 August 2017, 12–1pm

Led by dancer and dance therapist Thiru Seelan, the workshop is comprised of a series of simple and playful exercises that encourage self-reflection through movement and music. No experience necessary, this workshop is for all abilities. We suggest that you wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move freely.

Shared lunch
Friday 4 August 2017, 1–2pm

A free communal lunch open to all and providing a space for conversation.

Reading group: Fearless Speech by Michel Foucault
Friday 4 August 2017, 3–5pm

During this reading group, They Are Here will facilitate a discussion around six lectures delivered by Michel Foucault whilst he was teaching at Berkeley in Autumn 1983. During this first reading group, we will focus on Chapter 1.

“The expression ‘fearless speech’ is a rough translation of the Greek parrhesia, which designates those who take a risk to tell the truth; the citizen who has the moral qualities required to speak the truth, even if it differs from what the majority of people believe and faces danger for speaking it.”

Edible Intervention: Democratic Soup
In partnership with Eastern European Resource Centre
Friday 4 August 2017, 6–8pm

You are invited to participate in the making of a traditional Polish soup, devised and facilitated by artist Magda Fabianczyk. Each attendee is invited to bring an ingredient with them for a collective negotiation of what goes in the dish. This will be a metaphorical starting point for a discussion around Brexit and the EU migrant voice within the debates, whilst eating the soup we have made.

Eastern European Resource Centre (Est. 1984) is a charity that provides information, support and advice to immigrants from Eastern Europe. They give voice and resources to EE migrants who experience poverty, exploitation and social exclusion in order to help them to make better choices about their lives and realise their potential as equal members of their communities.

Movement workshop
Saturday 5 August 2017, 12–1pm

Led by dancer and dance therapist Thiru Seelan, the workshop is comprised of a series of simple and playful exercises that encourage self–reflection through movement and music. This workshop is for all abilities and no prior experience is necessary.

Shared lunch
Saturday 5 August 2017, 1–2pm

A free communal lunch open to all and providing a space for conversation.

Workshop: Self defence for beginners – women’s class
Saturday 5 August 2017, 3–5pm

This workshop will introduce simple effective personal safety strategies that do not rely solely on physical strength. The session will be led by martial artists and sports coach Jared Morrison, who has over 15 years experience in various disciplines and self-defence systems, including Judo, BJJ, Karate, 9–Attitudes (Dynamis) and Functional Edge MMA (Tony Torres). No prior experience is necessary. This workshop is for all abilities. We suggest that you wear comfortable clothes which allow you to move freely.

Discussion: How can we rethink social housing in London?
Saturday 5 August 2017, 6–7.30pm
Architecture, design and research studio Apparata will facilitate a discussion on ways to re–think social housing with Dr. Paul Watt, a Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies at Birkbeck and Sahra Hersi, co-founder of Studio Somalia. Apparata (Nicholas Lobo Brennan & Astrid Smitham) are currently working on an affordable housing scheme with integrated studios for artists in Barking, East London. Dr. Paul Watt’s research examines post-Olympic gentrification, social housing and youth homelessness. Sahra Hersi has recently graduated from the Royal College of Art Architecture program. She is is co-founder of Studio Somalia, a collective of British-Somali designers with a focus on cultural education and architectural heritage.

Repair Café
Sunday 6 August 2017, 12–6pm

Drop by the Repair Café and bring along your broken items to be fixed. These may include clothing, electrical and domestic appliances, bicycles, furniture and toys. Working with volunteer specialists, these items will be repaired, where possible, as part of a collective learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job.

The Repair Café was initiated by Martine Postma, who organised the very first iteration in Amsterdam on 18 October 2009. We are seeking volunteer specialists to take part in Repair Café. If you would like to get involved, please contact Laura Harford, laura@studiovoltaire.org or 0207 622 1294.

Shared lunch
Sunday 6 August 2017, 1-2pm

A free communal lunch open to all and providing a space for conversation.

Opening hours

Launch: Wednesday 2 August 2017, 7–9pm
Thursday 3 August 2017, 12–8pm
Friday 4 August 2017, 12–8pm
Saturday 5 August 2017, 12–8pm
Sunday 6 August 2017, 12–6pm

About the artists

They Are Here (f. 2006) is a collaborative practice steered by Helen Walker and Harun Morrison. They are currently based in London and on the River Lea. They Are Here work across media and types of site, particularly civic spaces. Institutions they have developed or presented work with include: CCA Glasgow, Furtherfield, Grand Union, Konsthall C (Stockholm), Southbank Centre, South London Gallery, STUK (Leuven, Belgium) and Tate Modern.

Precarity Centre is the first in a series of artworks and interventions organised by They Are Here during In Residence their yearlong residency at Studio Voltaire. The artists aim to engage and confront a number of social issues specific to the gallery’s locality as well as its neighbouring boroughs.

The first iteration of Precarity Centre was commissioned by Grand Union, Birmingham and realised in Spring 2016.

Please get in touch should you have any questions about the programme