Footnote to Migration
Sunday 9 October 2022, 3.30-5.30pm

MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y1DH

A creative writing workshop bringing together reading material from MayDay Rooms, a radical archive based in Britain, and Éireann and I, a Black community archive based in Ireland. In this session, led by Éireann and I, we invite you to scavenge through and trace lines of connection between items that highlight the perceptions and experiences of Black migrants on both isles. 

Black memory work has emerged as a way of injecting new cultural frameworks into the practice of archiving, and keeping alive the stories of marginalised people outside of formal institutions. They also function as a compass directing towards the future that our past selves have dreamed of.

This workshop uses ephemera that documents social perceptions of Black people, Black migrants who engaged in social struggles and instances of resistance by migrants in their homes, in the workplace, and in the public. Taking inspiration from Marlene Nourbese Philip we will reflect and write together by ‘breaking into the text’ and embodying the hopes, ideals, and struggles presented by the individuals illuminated within the archive. 

There will be refreshments to support the process. This event is for self-identifying Black or Mixed-Race people, and people who have first or second-hand experiences with migration.

Footnote to Migration is the third in a series of workshops led by Éireann and I for Alice Rekab’s multi-platform project, Family Lines. This iteration is part of a collaboration between Cypher BILLBOARD in partnership with Alice Rekab and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin. Family Lines is generously supported by The Arts Council of Ireland and Culture Ireland.

In parallel with this, Alice Rekab has presented a billboard at the Cypher BILLBOARD site in Bounds Green entitled 'We Make Our Own Table'. This artwork is a celebration of Pan-African food culture. It is a digital collage made up of images taken by the artist at 'Race Place And Belonging: Food And Heritage' the second Family Lines workshop, led by Éireann and I Archive at Douglas Hyde Gallery in September 2022. The workshop invited people of African descent to join together to explore food and memory, and culminated in a potluck dinner. This artwork will be visible at Cypher BILLBOARD in North London until November 2022.

Éireann and I is a community archive consisting of found and donated stories chronicling the lives of Black migrants in Ireland. It is part of a growing movement of grassroots efforts from marginalized communities to collect and make accessible our own experiences outside of traditional archival institutions. We collaboratively curate spaces where we can make collective decisions about what is valuable for preservation, shape collective memory of our experiences, and control how our past and present stories are constructed. |

Alice Rekab’s practice is concerned with expressions and iterations of complex cultural and personal narratives. Alice Rekab takes their own mixed-race Irish identity as a starting point from which to explore experiences of race, place and belonging. Over the last ten years Rekab’s practice has centred around collaboration and interdisciplinary work from which they produce film, performance, image and sculpture, creating new intersectional narratives and objects for exhibition.  |

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