Member Feature September 2020

The next member feature on the AHA-MK website is Ephemeral Lines at Milton Keynes Arts Centre by sisters Elmira Zadissa and Ramona Zadissa, a residency which runs between May and September 2020. 

Ephemeral Lines by Elmira Zadissa and Ramona Zadissa. Milton Keynes Arts Centre

Back in May 2020 the Zadissa sisters (Elmira and Ramona) began a digital residency at Milton Keynes Arts Centre. The residency responded to lock-down and self-isolation by collecting stories and experiences of how people have coped during this moment in time. It uses a website (elines.miltonkeynesartscentre.org) as a digital platform where the people of Milton Keynes can upload their stories. Pairing and matching stories together the Zadissa sisters use the website to create a new space that shows emerging patterns in the experiences we have had.  Since May, over 60 stories have been collected through written word, voice recordings and images.

The Zadissa sisters’ concept for Ephemeral Lines emerges from the idea that things are temporary, but can leave a lasting trace in communities and individuals. While lockdown and social distancing are very relevant now, it is just one section of the story that makes up the bigger picture. The website acts as an archive where we remember that these stories can change and develop, but existed in this form at a certain point in time.

Importantly, Ephemeral Lines creates a space where untold stories can be shared. When we connect with others through our stories there is an increased sense of belonging to something bigger, and an understanding that we are all in ‘it’ (life/lockdown/society) together. As part of the Ephemeral Lines development, the Zadissa sisters ran some online workshops with local diverse community organisations such as Living Archive, Q:Alliance, and The African Diaspora Foundation. These were really interesting discussions where aspects of identity were brought out. AHA-MK attended the beading and braiding workshops run by The African Diaspora Foundation and it was a lovely way to connect with new people and hear stories about culture and tradition while creating braids and necklaces from items we had at home.

A collection of the stories gathered throughout the project formed the basis of a large single artwork also entitled Ephemeral Lines, which will be presented online (Instagram @MiltonKeynesArtsCentre), and live at the Open Market, The Centre MK, in Milton Keynes on 19 September 2020 from 11am – 3pm. A programme of workshops and free activities suitable for all ages will be on offer throughout the day at both the Open Market, MK and Milton Keynes Arts Centre. Booking essential at www.miltonkeynesartscentre.org.

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