‘Shifting Representations’, Judy Price
‘Shifting Representations’ was a three-month workshop with participants from the vibrant Somali community in partnership with the Somali Integration and Development Association (SIDA). The participants worked with photography and photoshop to explore how they could shift representations of their community, which is often portrayed in the media only in relation to war and violence.
In the first few sessions the participants spent a lot of time discussing the kinds of images that are perpetuated in the media about Somalia and Somalis and how they could change this and show another side to the Somali community. They then looked at image making and work by a number of artists including: Yinka Shonibare, Shirin Neshat, Cindy Sherman, Raeda Saadeh, Pablo Picasso, Sonia Boyce, Gilbert and George, Johannes Vermeer, Zineb Sedira, Frida Kahlo and Ellen Gallagher. They were also introduced to the digital software Photoshop and its creative potential for both enhancing images and the fabulation of images. The project brought together a range of diverse approaches to thinking about the Somali community through documentary and fabulation.
The project co-ordinator for SIDA remarked that ‘Shifting Representations has been one of the best and most unique projects for the centre. It has created a new environment for thinking through images and changed the way the participants view their surroundings as well as making visible their huge potential creativity’.
‘Shifting Representations’ was commissioned by HS Projects and funded by the Insight Community Arts Programme (2002 – 2015).
The project ran from July to December 2013.