James Wallbank: 100 Days of Manifestation Chess Project.
Free and open to all.
James recently undertook an artists residency at “Bblackboxx” in Basel, Switzerland. Based in urban parkland, Bblackboxx works with a continually changing constituency of asylum seekers and refugees, temporarily housed in a reception centre nearby. Of diverse nationalities and demographics, these people have pressing needs and anxieties, and are subject to stress, insecurity, poverty, racism and disorientation.
James' contribution to '100 Days of Manifestation' involved participants in setting up a sustained, cascading system of beneficial activity: a production line for chess sets using only available resources, enabling everyone to play. The images from the project changed perceptions of asylum seekers, who are treated with huge suspicion. As chess players, they appear thoughtful, cultured and skilled - overturning popular notions of uselessness and opportunism.
This month “Show & Tell” explores the role of the artist in social engagement, and makes a comparison between the circumstances and characters of participants at Bblackboxx in Basel and participants at Access Space in Sheffield.
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