At The British Library, in February we presented Provocation #1, an installation designed to sit alongside the Warwick Commission Into Cultural Value’s first public provocation. We were happy with what we made, but felt it was a bit too easy to miss or ignore, too much decorative and not enough provocative. This called for a change of strategy and last night, at the Barbican, we unleashed Provocation #2.
The Commission’s second strand is focused around education so it felt like the ideal opportunity to involve one of our partner schools in a bit of action. Washwood Heath Academy came up trumps. I had a couple of sessions working with Aminul, Eeman, Sana and Saeed creating up a three minute long performance to work as an introduction to the main speaker Sir John Sorrell.
The team were far from experienced performers and the setting, Cinema 1 at The Barbican, was pretty intimidating but they did fantastically well and set the tone for what followed really well. Their main question – who is going to tell us, show us, or allow us to discover what we don’t know we don’t know – was referenced through the subsequent discussion and the image of those four lingered as the conscience of event; who are we doing this for? Those young people and all they represent.
I was pleased with our contribution and missed Sir John‘s presentation (check the link Debrett’s is a weird publication!) but for me the night’s most powerful voices were those of Tim Boyes, Headteacher of Queensbridge School and poet Amerah Saleh who brought the event to a storming finale with her Cir de Coeur.
blic provocation of we were happy with the art but felt that it needed to be more prominent