GRADJOB through Isolation
Despite our isolated circumstances during Covid-19, we continue to work with the community we have built through GRADJOB, with both past participants and present participants. We have been busy building ‘GRADJOB through isolation’ working together with GRADJOB contributors and collaborators, we are developing what we aim to be an engaging sharing and learning programme, in order to continue celebrating mechanisms for support, solidarity and kinship. Through listening to participants, artists and cultural workers around us, EMBASSY is developing resources, collaborative projects, open source learning as well as time and space for listening to ideas, gossip, hopes, dreams and fears. – Considerations which feel ever more prescient in our current moment.
Bryony Gillard, Lockdown Workshop 20July 2020
In this 2 hour online workshop, we will embark on a series of simple exercises that can be thought of as coping strategies—ways of being in the present moment—for picking you up when you feel anxious, finding or building solidarity, or to help find inspiration from a range of powerful, intersectional thinkers. We will use reading, voice and writing as ways of nurturing collaboration within the group and as strategies to keep creating/resisting when working alone in isolation. Sources of inspiration come from a broad range of thinkers including Audre Lorde, Adrienne Maree Browne, Roxanne Gay, Paul B. Preciado, Sara Ahmed, Bell Hooks, Donna Haraway, Adrienne Rich, Octavia Butler and others.
This workshop comes with some postal resources. If you are able to receive post safely, please provide your address. Resources will be double enveloped and sent a week in advance of the workshop to allow them to be quarantined. If you aren’t able to receive post safely, online versions can be sent to you as a link.
Ed Compson, A fish you already caught, Kite. April-July 2020
‘I often think of these times as akin to a spring thaw: it’s as if the pack ice has broken up, the water starts flowing again and boats can move through places they could not during winter. The ice was the arrangement of power relations that we call the status quo – it seems to be stable, and those who benefit from it often insist that it’s unchangeable. Then it changes fast and dramatically, and that can be exhilarating, terrifying, or both.’ – Rebecca Solnit: What the coronavirus can teach us about hope
I am excited to invite you to join me in building a groundless, unstable and collaborative structure over the next month, which, weather permitting, will be flown around South London. The project will involve a personal and political walking tour of my childhood town, a reading group centred around revolutions and free fall, and concluded with the building and launch of a kite which will be engraved with your images. Before we virtually meet, I want to ask you all a few questions which I don’t know the answer to (but trying hard to find out) and would love to hear what you think:
- How can we have collective political agency when we are separated, itemised and individualised?
Especially now, during the pandemic and self isolation?
How do we create structures that reflect our mental states that can adapt to histories, be
- it our own or others?
- And can we imbue them with meaningful and critical signs?
Feel free to email me before hand with any questions (or answers) and make any suggestions for the reading group if you wish: firstname.lastname@example.org. I have attached an overview of the project which includes a virtual walk, reading group and kite 🙂
Look forward to meeting you all,
Gordon Douglas, Book March-Current 2o2o
Over the next couple of months, we’ll be circulating a book through the postal service as a way of transmitting thoughts to one another whilst we strive to retain meaningful, social connection with people. The book will arrive in an A4 brown gusset envelope and have all the instructions, materials, stamps and addresses to pass it on to the next recipient. Right now, the book is totally empty, and I’m kind of referring to it in my head as a ghost book. I hope that through posting we might start to populate it with things (thoughts, drawings, quotes, collages, texts, pressed flowers etc etc). and that it can act as a way of passing on something that is of interest to you right now whatever that may be, and receiving things that are interesting to other people. There are no rules about what content you can contribute, or how you choose to adapt the content of previous entries. Once you’re finished, just pop it back in the envelope, choose someone to send it to, attach the next address and stamp, sellotape shut and post it onwards. At the end, we’ll have a book produced by a method that’s somewhere between an ‘exquisite corpse’ (sometimes called consequences), and the make-your-own-opportunity game we played in January. I hope that it also documents something about the GRADJOB community whilst we remain distant from one another.