The Value in Making: Crafting, Memory, Migration and Storytelling

picture Mango tree from Livstycket

Image: ‘Turn Right at the Mango Tree’, Livstycket

Venue: The Drum | 144 Potters Lane | Aston | Birmingham | B6 4UU

Date: 20 October 2015
Time:  10:00 – 4:00 pm

We invite you to a partnership project comprising Counterpoints Arts’ Learning Lab, Crafts Council UK, the Embassy of Sweden – London, Craftspace, Platforma Arts + Refugee Network, British Council and the National College of Art and Design, Ireland.

Framed by a conversation with the Stockholm-based social enterprise, Livstycket, and Birmingham-based enterprise, Shelanu, Learning Lab focuses on the social and cultural value of craft as a form of place-making when produced by migrant and refugee women.

Learning Lab explores the role that crafts and making play in navigating experiences of migration, including wellbeing and integration. We will also look at the value of craft in creating dynamic and sustainable social enterprises.

Through a mix of case studies, presentations, workshops and conversations, Learning Lab reflects on new ways of working and asks fresh questions about the role of craft-making in collaborative learning and collective settings.

What are the threads we can draw out that tell the stories of craft skills through journeys of old to new, tradition to modern, old to young?

Questions include:

  • What kind of cultural knowledge and ‘know how’ is produced through the transmission of craft skills amongst migrant and refugee women?
  • What alternative economic and cultural models prevail in the often precarious, sometimes hidden process of craft-making?
  • How does craft feed back to and re-imagine through storytelling a more equal, diverse and inclusive city?
  • How can craft legacies open pathways to education and the labour market?
  • How do the realities of cultural displacement and the use of new technologies facilitate cultural change within craft-making?
  • What can we learn about migration and the bonds between generations, through engagement in craft?

Contributors to this Learning Lab include practitioners from Livstycket, Shelanu and Craftspace in addition to Jessica Hemmings, editor of the recently published Cultural Threads (Bloomsbury, 2015); together with a range of arts practitioners, writers, researchers and cultural entrepreneurs.

For more information contact:

Áine O’Brien:

Chris Webb:

Tiffany Radmore:

Deirdre Figueiredo: