Seth Pimlott is 2016-18 participatory artist in residence at Gasworks - a role that combines education and outreach, but with the support to create two new bodies of work in partnership with the groups he works with: La Escuela, and Ciagle Pod Gore/ All the time uphill.
Seth has been working primarily with the Polish and Latin American communities in the Borough, through the organisations Poles Connect based in Stockwell, Escuela Gabriel García Marquéz in Kennington and the group Sin Fronteras. Working with different age groups, he has been exploring histories of migration, and how each generation negotiate the lives they make for themselves in London and their native, or ancestral heritage and culture.
Using material generated in the workshops, he is co-authoring scripts with the participants that draws out the ephemeral forces holding individuals within a community together, and that reflects on the subtle shifts of the cities' social fabric.
Watch the trailer for La Escuela, the film produced in collaboration with South London's Latin American communities here:
La Escuela looks at the transmission of cultural identity between generations. It celebrates the ability to imagine oneself into the future, whilst reconciling the loss bound up in such a leap.
Between September 2016 and 2018, Seth Pimlott ran workshops with community groups including Escuela Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Spanish-language Saturday School in Kennington; Sin Fronteras, a young women’s support and political advocacy group organised by the Latin American Women’s Rights Service; Cali Swing Dance School, the largest salsa academy in the UK ; and activists from the Pueblito Paisa campaign in Seven Sisters. The workshops explored the intersection of personal biographies with national histories, including the violent conflicts that forced some families to flee abroad. Collective and creative engagement with these histories became the basis for reimagining personal narratives, which has informed the story told in La Escuela.
The film takes the form of a school assembly, incorporating and reinterpreting the complex musical and aesthetic heritage of the community. The lead character is Mariana, a female spirit, an avatar of the intellectual and imaginative work of the women involved in the project. She guides us through a story of migration, hardship and the coming together of communities in the face of the systemic forces that threaten them. Three individuals from the participating organisations play Mariana at different stages of her life: as a young child growing up in Colombia, as a teenager arriving into the UK, and then as an adult who has established a life and set up La Escuela Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Ciagle Pod Gore/ All the time uphill
Seth is delighted to have exceeded his Crowdfunder fundraising target (2017)! Shooting is due to begin in Spring 2018.
You can watch a short video about the project created for the crowdfunder, here:
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Find out more about Seth Pimlott.