They Are Here at Studio Voltaire
11:00 am - 9:00 pm
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - Sunday, August 6, 2017
Artist collective They Are Here transform Clapham–based art gallery Studio Voltaire into Precarity Centre – a social project offering free workshops and activities to the local community.
Precarity Centre is a mobile project that engages its visitors in workshops, talks, performances
and activities with the aim of collectively exploring and defending against ‘precarity’. The project
works to seed interaction between various local groups, the arts community and those who
work in the public sector.
They Are Here are interested in collectively exploring ideas of ‘precarity’ in their multidisciplinary
work: a situation or state lacking in predictability. This can include financial security, legal and
residential status, as well as physical and mental welfare.
The artists aim to engage and confront a number of social issues specific to the gallery’s
locality as well as its neighbouring boroughs. Lambeth is one of the most densely populated
and diverse borough’s in the country, as well as ranking among the 10% most deprived
authorities in England.
For the Precarity Centre at Studio Voltaire, They Are Here and their collaborators will lead a
range of workshops and activities. The programme will include live music from Deptford-based
composer Mx World, a series of all–abilities movement workshops led by dancer Thiru
Seelan, self–defence classes, and discussions on housing, mental health and
permaculture. Precarity Centre will close with a daylong ‘Repair Cafe’, involving local
experts volunteering their skills to fix and repair various items, including clothing, electrical and
domestic appliances, bicycles, furniture and toys – all free of charge.
Precarity Centre works to explore a wide variety of issues faced by those in precarious
positions and to collectively share knowledge and skills. The project echoes the multi–layered
activities of community centres, which continue to suffer disinvestment across London and the
They Are Here stress that this activity is not a substitute for public services or organised
campaigning to support public services, but rather an additional asset to individuals and
community groups. They Are Here are working with neighbourhood groups to amplify their
existing activities and flyers and literature advertising this social support work will be displayed
Precarity Centre will offer a test–bed for experimentation in community organisation, bringing
together many Lambeth-based groups and individuals for the first time to discuss urgent topics
and provide meaningful outcomes.