Exploring difference

Beyond ‘us’ and ‘them’ – how to build collaborative identities?

Brussels, February 2017

A small group of artists, academics, facilitators and community workers from Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK came together for three days to explore the challenges of collaboration through interactive activities and discussion. Participants’ thoughts were recorded throughout the event, and then turned into an artwork. Subsequent events are building on that first event, evolving as they go.

The artwork (Heinrich Nicolaus & Karin Draaijer) can be found here.

You will find a summary of participants words used in the artwork here.


Event 2: Further note sorting, Amsterdam, August 2017


Event 3: ‘From clash to creativity’ workshop, Bristol, November 2017
Three young facilitators worked with dance, poetry and photography to focus on ‘Strangers are made, not found‘; ‘What’s in it for me?‘; and ‘I feel strong and confident when I am with my own people but weak when I have to face people that I don’t know‘ – all phrases featured in the Brussels book. Each group presented their thoughts in a short showcase before the event finished with a shared meal.

A slide show from the event can be found here.




My New Friends: In 2008, building on the experiences of a young worker at Community Resolve, we devised a fascinating and unexpectedly impactful project to address youth violence at its source. We worked with Nadinne Dyen at Loveworks, using disposal cameras to challenge the negative stereotypes of 10-year-olds in two communities on either side of the M32 in Bristol. This touching glimpse into the worlds of young Bristolians continues to surprise and move me every time I look at their photographs.


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