Exhibition opening event & Artist talk, 6.30-9pm, 1 November in the Library. Refreshments served. All welcome.
This exhibition features the work of two projects which set out to facilitate community networks and social cohesion in two different neighbourhoods. Where the documentation of life in a hidden courtyard in Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana resulted in an outdoor exhibition / party – organised by the local community so neighbours could meet and share their stories, the action research-based participatory project in a block of flats in Deptford, south-east London, engaged neighbours in building up a shared dialogue through repeated collective activity such as beautifying communal spaces. Both projects involved the use of photography as a researching tool, with the understanding that the process of collaborative image-making and the sharing and gifting of generated research material has the potential to develop the visceral experience of community such as trust, familiarity and belonging. The repeated encounters with neighbours generated through this participatory process helped facilitate recognition, small-talk and regular contact among some, overall resulting in, as neighbours have commented, ‘feeling better about living here’.
Anita Strasser is an urban photographer / visual sociologist based in south-east London. She studied Photography at the London Institute, College of Printing (now London College of Communication (LCC)), completed a Master’s in Photography and Urban Cultures at the Sociology Department of Goldsmiths College, University of London, and is currently doing an AHRC-funded PhD in Visual Sociology at the same institution. Her main research interests are the everyday practices of urban communities, the regeneration and gentrification of cities, particularly London, and the representation of class, as well as visual research methods, community arts and participatory photographic practice. She is an active member of the Urban Photographers Association, the International Visual Sociology Association, and the Centre of Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths College, and co-organises the annual symposium Engaging in Urban Image Making held at Goldsmiths. Anita has worked with many local community groups, and has presented and exhibited her work in many (inter)national events.