Govanhill Voice spoke to Kat Abdullah about her upcoming community driven exhibition opening in Milk Café on October 15th. Have a gander to find out what it’s about and if you can take part…
Hi Kat can you explain the basis / theme behind this exhibition and who it involves?
(A piece of) Us is a collection of images and stories from people of Govanhill and Glasgow Southside Central. With help from Barbara from Crossroads I put up posters in community centres, Govanhill Baths, in local businesses.
The project is supported by Cafe Milk, Talk See Photo and Crossroads.
What made you want to try to engage with the wider community to submit images?
The idea behind the project is inclusion.
As photographs can be shared and read across a variety of languages I thought it would be a nice way to bring people together to share their roots and experiences.
How has the response been? I know that as a photographer myself I would be terrified at the notion that I may not be able to get enough people engaged enough to submit responses how did you combat any apprehension in prospective participants?
Initially I tried to just encourage people to submit images as I wanted it to be about self-expression and to encourage people to use photographs that they already had. I was blown away by Rizwana’s wedding photograph when she showed it to me, the colours were so beautiful and I wondered how many other people had beautiful photographs hidden away at home. I found people didn’t really responded to posters. But interviewing people at group’s and allowing them to share their views really made the project. Not all cultures are as comfortable sharing their photographs, and picking a photograph to represent yourself can be quite challenging. For the new generations of young people creating a selfie is second nature, but for many people a photograph, and particularly a single portrait is something that’s rarely done, outside of family gatherings.
‘When is your opening night and how long will the images be on display for?
The opening is on Saturday the 15th of October from 6pm.
The images will be up for the following few weeks.’
Is this part of a bigger project?
This was originally a segment of a three-part proposal, (A piece of) Me, featuring work by Jeanette Ginslov, (A piece of) Us and (A piece of) You. The original proposal can be found on http://bongokat.tumblr.com/
The exhibitions are tied together with the idea that an individual or a community are made of interlocking segments and the idea of wholeness cannot be conceived in tandem with a notion of separation.
Given the current political climate this is something that the British public need a constant reminder of. I think media is sadly used mostly as a tool of divisiveness rather than unification.
In contrast to very extreme ‘Us vs. Them’ mentality that is supported by national news against people of all walks of life, Glasgow, and Govanhill, in particular, is a community of a rich fusion of ethnicities and Cafe Milk is the perfect location for this project.
Is there still time for work to be submitted for the event?
People are welcome to continue to submit photographs for online publication.
If they could include their name, their ties/what brought them to Govanhill/Glasgow Southside and a photograph (s) that they feel represent them.
For more information about the exhibition and photo submission hit up
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@Bongokatpro on fb for samples of stories and photographs
Map with Milk Cafe highlighted on Victoria Road.
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For those interested I also have an independent blog if you wish to check it out;
and my photo website;