CYP X The Wellcome Collection
Over the Summer, local art institution The Wellcome Collection got in contact with us regarding an exhibition they wanted to collaborate on with us. With the need to hear the voices of the public regarding the recent pandemic, Wellcome Collection posed the question “What does it mean to be Human during COVID-19?”; and this would be the foundation of the exhibition.
As it was quite a broad question, we sat with a group of young people to explore the question; see what other question they thought would help answer this ‘ultimate question’. The young people got out a big flip chart paper and started brainstorming. They spoke of the impact COVID has had on their social life, mental health, and even everyday interactions. From these brainstorms we then moved on to creating ten sub-questions to help us answer the main question. As well as that, our patron and local artist Penny Walcock has been on hand to provide the young people with tips and advice on where to go with the exhibition.
Since we are trying to collect voices of the public, the young people suggested collecting answers from 4 different people; these would be a key worker, an NHS worker, a vulnerable person, and a young person. We hope this variety of people can give us various perspectives that would help us see how humans have adapted to the pandemic.
The next stage was then having the young people host interviews with these 4 groups of people by asking them the ten sub-questions. We would then convert their answers into a monologue and bring in a young actor in the local area, Moses Gomez, to perform all 4 monologues as one. This is done to help challenge the young actor but also to explore people’s preconceptions of other people based on dialogue and mannerism alone. The filming will take place late October so that is still to come.
With this being our main idea, we also have a spoken word artist from the local area, Samuel King, who would also be creating an original piece inspired by both the interviews as well the main question. Also, a young person will be creating a Black Lives Matter inspired track to end the exhibition with. We understand that during this pandemic there has been an outcry of help from the black community and we feel that it is important to include this within our project as the question for humanity is what is being explored. A few of our young people have dedicated themselves to the cause by attending the protest. They have documented their activism and from these we would compile a visual and audio piece that would showcase the fight for human rights. We understand that there is a pandemic that has swamped 2020, but we also would like to acknowledge a pandemic that has been ongoingly upheld by a system that benefits some over others; and it is with this exhibition that we would explore what it really means to be human.
Dates of the exhibition are still pending due to ever-changing COVID laws. But we shall share with you all once it is confirmed. We hope to see some of you at the exhibition supporting the young creatives who have used this platform to uplift voices and share positivity.