Precarity Centre: SW4 7JR
Studio Voltaire
2 – 6 August 2017

We transformed Studio Voltaire into Precarity Centre.

Precarity Centre is an itinerant, conceptual framework for an interdisciplinary programme of talks, workshops and performances, exploring and mitigating against precarity.

Precarity can be defined as a precarious existence, lacking in predictability, job security, material or psychological welfare. The social class defined by this condition has been termed the precariat.

Precarity Centre was also an experiment in social space, seeding interaction between local groups, the arts community and those who work in the public sector. The project echoed the multi–layered activities of community centres, which continue to suffer disinvestment across London and the wider UK.

Precarity Centre was intended to be relevant to local concerns, whilst bridging diverse forms of inquiry and knowledge.

We stress that this project cannot be a substitute for public services or organised campaigning to support public services. Flyers and literature advertising existing social support work were displayed on site, working with neighbourhood groups to amplify their activities.

The programme of events included live music from Lewisham­–based composer Mx World, a series of all-abilities movement workshops led by dancer Thiru Seelan, a self-defence class and discussions on housing, permaculture and mental health. The project closed with a ‘Repair Café’, involving local experts volunteering their skills to repair various items, including clothing, electrical and domestic appliances, bicycles and toys. They Are Here’s work Variously Sized Blocks of Foam (2016), which falls between sculpture and furniture, offset the interior of this former chapel and provided modular seating for the discussions and lunches.

See the full programme of events here.

Precarity Centre is the first in a series of artworks and interventions by They Are Here during In Residence their year long residency at Studio Voltaire.

The first iteration of Precarity Centre was commissioned by Grand Union, Birmingham and realised in Spring 2016.

Documentation: James Allan, Indre Neiberkaite & Helen Walker