Kate Daudy Studio presents ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’
at St Paul’s Cathedral 3—27 June

Kate Daudy has inscribed and embroidered a standard issue UNHCR tent in which a family lived for several months with phrases and quotations she gathered in conversations with displaced people in many countries.

Entitled, “Am I My Brother’s Keeper?”, this is an immersive multi-media art installation about home and identity. To research the work, Daudy travelled around the Middle East and Europe asking diplomats, refugees, psychologists, aid workers, doctors, peace-workers, volunteers, religious leaders and soldiers from nearly 60 countries for anything that could be learned for the future from this deep crisis, which now affects some 68.5 million people. The work comprises a series of written interventions across the Middle East, the USA and the UK, a short film made by US documentary maker Odessa Rae, which has been seen in many different media, as well as a funding project in Syria with internally displaced women.

The positive response to these interviews have generated further questions and an array of artworks, a film, a series of talks, processions and participatory performance pieces as the work travels around Europe and, from 2020, the United States, with the aim of raising an awareness of mans capacity to transcend circumstance and strive for a better future.

The dignity and grace of the people she met touched Daudy all the more for the devastating nature of their circumstances. “Our life is what our thoughts make it,” as Marcus Aurelius says.

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Daudy funded this endeavour through the sale of her own work. She has now given the tent to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a gift. Daudy is interested in illuminating power structures and using the visual arts as a means of bringing about discourse that might contribute toward social and political change. Although disruptive, her work is full of optimism. While our current world circumstances can seem so dire, the future remains in our hands. “Falling”, as Hito Steyerl observes, “does not necessarily mean falling apart.”

Throughout the period of the tent’s installation, there will be a number of free events offering different opportunities to engage with the installation and the questions it provokes. 

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Kate used hollyhocks, pictured above, as inspiration for working on her instillation, pictured right. The flower is a strong cultural reference, often planted by refugee families to make their transient surroundings beautiful. Those crocheted upon the tent were commissioned by a funding project in Syria and made by internally displaced ladies there.

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Daudy funded this endeavour through the sale of her own work. She has now given the tent to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a gift. Daudy is interested in illuminating power structures and using the visual arts as a means of bringing about discourse that might contribute toward social and political change. Although disruptive, her work is full of optimism. While our current world circumstances can seem so dire, the future remains in our hands. “Falling”, as Hito Steyerl observes, “does not necessarily mean falling apart.”

Throughout the period of the tent’s installation, there will be a number of free events, listed below, offering different opportunities to engage with the installation and the questions it provokes. 


Programme of Events

Marina Warner | Mustapha Conteh | Ibrahim Ture

Wednesday 5th June, 10am-12pm

With music, drawing, masks and words, the storytelling will be led by Mustapha Conteh and Ibrahim Ture, and others from the project Stories in Transit, including Marina Warner.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Lighting Matches in the Wind: What is the impact and influence of art in today’s society?

Friday 14th June, 1-2pm

A panel discussion on the role and effect of art in society exploring the question: Can the visual arts be a force for social justice?

Panel: The Reverend Canon James Milne, Laura Padoan, Tom Green, Claire Hajaj, Itab Azzam

Admission is free but places are limited and must be booked in advance here.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Why Bother About Refugee Week?

Monday 17th June, 1-2pm

A panel discussion exploring the various issues facing refugees when seeking asylum and settling in Britain, and how campaigning can be effective in helping to tackle them.

Panel: The Reverend Canon Jonathan Brewster, Dr Sara Silvestri, Maya Ghazal, Zrinka Bralo, Jess Potter

Admission is free but places are limited and must be booked in advance here.

TALK: ‘Watan’ The notion of homeland and what that means in Syria

Monday 17th June, 10-10:30am

With Clarissa Ward (CNN Chief International Correspondent)

Clarissa Ward is CNN's chief international correspondent based in London. For more than 15 years Ward has reported from front lines across the world from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen to Georgia—during the Russian incursion in 2008—and Ukraine. Clarissa has won multiple awards for her reporting, amoung them she received the prestigious Excellence in International Reporting Award from the International Center for Journalists in 2016 for her outstanding war reporting in hotspots like Iraq and Syria.

READING: Essay, ‘This is Water’ by David Foster Wallace

Monday 17th June, 10:30-11am

With Jennifer Wiltsie (Actor)

Jennifer Wiltsie's films include Wendigo, Uninvited and The Fever. She has guest-starred on HBO's The Sopranos and Masterpiece Theatre's Clarissa. Jennifer has appeared in the West End and on Broadway and is an award-winning audiobook narrator and voice-over artist.

TALK: Refugees, Publishing the Real Picture

Monday 17th June, 11-11:30am

With Alixandra Fazzina (A Million Shillings) & Hannah Watson (Trolley Books)

A photographer and author, Alixandra Fazzina work focuses on refugees and under-reported conflicts. A recipient of UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award for her striking coverage of the devastating human consequences of war, she is the author of “A Million Shillings; Escape from Somalia”. Alixandra’s reportages have been published in books and across international titles and her photographs exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide.

Hannah Watson is the Director of independent publisher Trolley Books and contemporary art gallery TJ Boulting. Trolley Books is an independent publisher of unique stories in photography, reportage and contemporary art exploring a range of difficult subject matter. Established in 2001, beautifully designed and produced Trolley books have a real sense of conviction and purpose that sets them apart.

TALK: The Impact of Climate Change on Population Movement

Monday 17th June, 12-12:30am

With Katherine Greig (Wharton Risk Center)

Wharton Risk Center Senior Fellow Katherine previously worked in the NYC Mayor's Office of Resiliency where she was the city's liaison to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, a team of local academics charged with assessing the future impact of rising seas on the NYC's shores.

READING: Shared reading with visitor participation

Tuesday 18th June, 10:30-11:30am

With Genevieve Cooper (The Reader).

The Reader is a National Charity that wants to bring about a reading revolution so that everyone can experience and enjoy great literature, which they believe is a tool for helping humans survive and live well.

TALK: Musical Homelands

Tuesday 18th June, 12-12:30am

With Joe Boyd (Record Producer)

Joe Boyd is an author (White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s) and record producer (Nick Drake, REM, Toumani Diabate, Fairport Convention, Cubanismo, Incredible String Band etc). His podcast 'Joe Boyd's A-Z' can be heard at www.joeboyd.co.uk. He is currently writing a book in the phenomenon of World music.

POETRY RECITAL: Thinking like an island: performance poetry

Thursday 20th June, 11-11:30am

With David Tappeser & Himali Singh (Hylozoic/Desires)

Hylozoic/Desires (Himali Singh Soin & David Soin Tappeser) is a multi-media performance duo whose work combines experimental poetry and improvisational jazz drums in order to orbit around history and conjure imagined futures. H/D is concerned with the (poly)rhythms of love and the bea(s)t of belonging. H/D aspire toward a world in which all forms of life—solid, stone, spirit or human—are equal.

TALK: Anna Farina (Syria Relief)

Thursday 20th June, 11:30-12pm

Anna is in charge of managing Syria Relief's operations in London coordinating advocacy work and programme implementation. Dismayed at the rapidly unfolding crisis in Syria, a group of friends of Syrian heritage came together to make a concerted effort to provide emergency humanitarian aid in the region, for what was initially assumed a short-term project. Since then Syria Relief has grown to become the largest Syria-focused, UK-based Charity, having touched the lives of 1.8 million Syrians in need.

POETRY RECITAL: Novelist (Musician)

Thursday 20th June, 12-12:30pm

Novelist drew inspiration at the early age of six years old; his primary influences came from UK underground music DVDs that were in circulation at the time, as well as the pirate radio stations on air showcasing UK underground music. Once dubbed ‘The Poster Boy of Grime’, Novelist (real name Kojo Kankam) has gone on to become a respected 2018 Mercury Prize nominee with his Debut Album “Novelist Guy”, mastered at the world famous Abbey Road Studios.

For more information visit stpauls.co.uk/refugeetent

Children under 16 must be accompanied. These drop-in sessions are included in the price of Cathedral admission.


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Kate Daudy’s ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ travelled eastwards to Italy, where banners were paraded through the streets of Palermo.


“Am I My Brother’s Keeper?” is an immersive multi-media art work about home and identity.

 

It comprises now a podcast made in collaboration with cutting-edge UK radio station Rinse FM, a short film made by US documentary maker Odessa Rae, which has been seen by some 3.5 million people, a UNHCR desert tent in which a family lived for several months, on which Daudy inscribed observations from refugees from nearly 60 countries, and a funding project in Syria which commissioned crochet circles to be made by internally displaced ladies there.

 

It is a work about human possibility.

 

To research the work, Daudy travelled around the Middle East and Europe asking diplomats, refugees, psychologists, aid workers, doctors, peace-workers, volunteers, religious leaders and soldiers from nearly 60 countries for anything that could be learned for the future from this deep crisis, which now affects some 65 million people. 

 

The positive response to these interviews have generated further questions and an array of artworks, a film, a series of talks, processions and participatory performance pieces as the work travels around Europe and, from 2020, the United States, with the aim of raising an awareness of mans capacity to transcend circumstance and strive for a better future. The dignity and grace of the people she met touched Daudy all the more for the devastating nature of their circumstances.  “Our life is what our thoughts make it,” as Marcus Aurelius says.

 

Daudy funded this endeavour through the sale of her own work. She has now given the tent to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a gift. She is interested in illuminating power structures and using the visual arts as a means of bringing about discourse that might contribute toward social and political change. Although disruptive, her work is full of optimism. While our current world circumstances can seem so dire, the future remains in our hands. “Falling”, as Hito Steyerl observes, “does not necessarily mean falling apart.”


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‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper’ began life as a UNHCR refugee tent. Now it has toured the UK, bringing its message of hope to people across the country. Click here to read more


Clear Blue Skies: A film by Odessa Rae with Marc Streitenfeld. Thanks also to Moby