There had been a series of recent murders in the immigrant suburbs, and a tinder-gent from Cape Verde took me to his neighbourhood, where, on the 18th of March at 10pm, gunmen entered a restaurant where people were watching the Premier League, and started firing shots.
Stranger In The Village Essay
Apparently, the stunt was met by outrage, with nimbys calling him a bad father, and berating him for the danger he is subjecting his kids to.For example, at Central Station, which was built on a site that used to be the meeting ground for a vast community of Romany gypsies (though this has been written out of the official collective memory of the city), I photographed these two Roma fellas jamming on a bench.Only later I realised that the dude with the harmonica is actually giving the finger.It was a jam session where musicians, both Swedish and from various African countries, kept arriving and adding to the beat.I’d been here about week at the time, only a week, and if it had been in London I probably wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but there was something so incredibly uplifting about this scene, how somehow, in music, all the bullshit segregation Gothenburgy stuff fell away, and everyone just danced. So I placed them in the middle of my drawing to honour the moment, with the singer, Kele, a trumpeter from Soweto, in midsong. * * * I slowly started to build up a picture of Gothenburg, which I rolled up once my month was up, mid-journey, knowing I’d be back in August to revisit it.I remember feeling that it was good to be back in London. Rickety, waterlogged boats carrying desperate people continue to sink in the murky waters of EU politics. I arrived back at the studio at Konstepidemin in August, unrolled the drawing, and tried to find a way back in. My own mother, who by consequence of her birth, travels on a Kenyan passport, while her children enjoy the luxury of dual citizenship, cannot freely come here.When I delivered a version of this talk at the Disseminating Identities symposium at the V&A at the end of April, I closed by saying “I’m not sure if it’s only because one’s eyes are more in focus when in a new place, or whether Gothenburg is somehow unique – I have read in various places it being confirmed as one of the most segregated societies in Europe – but, having spent a month there, I read Baldwin’s essay with a truer sense of it. On a London bus down Oxford Street, for the first time in my fifteen years of living there, a drunk man tells me to fuck off home. Images of waterlogged brown people and tiny children in red teeshirts who could be yours have finally started to lap at the shores of apathetic minds , shaking eyes open. It was strange being back in exactly the same space. As artists, they propel and ignite, they confuse and intrigue, they definitely change you. In order to be here with me tonight, she had to travel to Dar es Salaam to the Swedish Embassy, with an invitation letter from GIBCA and another one from me, to ask them to grant her permission to come and see her daughter’s show, the one in which you can hear her voice, her stories, and see that drawing her daughter did, in Gothenburg in 2015 where Phoebe Boswell was exhibiting Tramlines. 1982, Kenya), born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and British Kenyan father, brought up in the Arabian Gulf, and now living and working in London, makes work anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness.As I wrote his name, paying attention to each curl of each scribbled letter, I imagined who made this poster, and how they must have felt writing it.The ink of the fat parker pen was running out, so parts of the letters were more faint than other parts, and I imagined the writer shaking the pen in her hand, angry, confused, trying to will some life back into it.I spent hours drawing it, contemplating the loss of life in each pencil mark that built up to convey the decaying pile of abandoned flowers.The poster says: “Hussein Chit….1988083 to 20151803, allah yerhamak. Family.” There’s this thing about drawing from photographs that allows you to empathise.