UK Research Fellow Catrin Evans joins the Drawing Together project.
Updated: Sep 9
I joined the Drawing Together team on April 6th, two weeks into the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown. Given that the project is predicated on the importance of building and sustaining relationships and that so many of the design elements within it are reliant upon rich interpersonal contact, I was mindful of how profoundly this period of isolation might affect how we could proceed.
I was also conscious that I was new to the project, whereas many of my colleagues have been developing the ideas, design and ethical approaches underpinning this research for over a year. How would they be feeling? Upon joining my first full international team (digital) meeting I was met by a group of thoughtful, compassionate and critical minds. They were, undoubtedly, disappointed that the research was being halted by this global situation, but they were already thinking deeply about responding, adapting and finding ways to apply a practice of care to our project through this time of limbo.
There is still so much that we don’t know, yet there have already been some reflective discoveries born from the stillness that has been imposed upon us. While I have been keen to contribute as much as possible, my newness to the team means that at the moment I am trying as much as possible to operate as a sponge. I have been absorbing the discussions that have gone before and listening deeply as the details and nuances of each possible adaptation are carefully considered.
Our blog posts are not intended to ‘report’ on where the project is, but instead to act as a means to explore diverse forms for communicating our research journey. And so, rather than report much more, I will instead turn now to the words that I have heard so far; allowing my colleagues to continue resonating and breathing life into our evolving project
we must be kind with one another
this project is alive
our job is to care for it
can this project create space for people to socialise
who is listening
and who is recording
we cannot assume everyone has access to the digital world
how do we hold on to the layers of conversation that emerge through curation
our job is to create the possibility for complexity in storytelling
we are living through a paradox
our project is concerned with proximity and movement
and now we are examining that through the lens of stillness and distance
some people are very used to waiting
how do young people exercise their right to be invisible in relation to their ‘refugee story’
this is not just about what we say and do
it is about how we relate
let us trace the contours of language and ask ourselves what our words mean
I navigate it
and it navigates me
getting status is not the end of someone’s story
we are dealing with liquid lives
UK Research Fellow