“In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate”

W.H. Auden ‘In Memory of W.B. Yeats’ (1940)

Who Are We? 2017 was a free 6-day cross-platform event, designed to facilitate the co-creation, co-production, and exchange of knowledges among artists, academics, activists, and diverse publics around the multiple crises of identity and belonging in Europe and the UK. The week of activity has been specifically designed for Tate Exchange reflecting on identity, belonging, migration and citizenship through arts and audience participation.

Auden’s homage to Yeats conjures an uncannily resonant image of contemporary Europe, a Europe increasingly divided, fending and fastening its borders against real and imagined ‘others’. Guided by Auden’s quote and inspired by the open dialogue of the Tate Exchange initiative looking at art and its importance to society,  Who Are We? explored what it means to be civic, creating a space for encounters between people and communities often kept apart by binaries: artists versus audiences, academics versus artists, migrants versus ‘natives’, and activists versus publics. 

Artists and practitioners from England, Scotland, Poland, Finland, Iraq, Italy, Germany, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo, Slovenia, Romania, Greece, Spain, Israel, USA and South Africa contributed to activities, installations and events to which the public are invited to engage and participate.

·       What is becoming of Europe and the UK?

·       What are we forgetting, and with what consequences?

·       How does our colonial past connect to today’s migratory movements?

·       Can the creative uses of media, technologies, logistics, visual art and performance show us a glimpse of another Europe, another ‘We’?

The 2017 programming team comprised Counterpoints Arts, The Open University, Loughborough University, and Warwick University with contributions from Goldsmiths University of London, the Stuart Hall Foundation, Universal Design Studio, Graphic Thought Facility and with support from the Swedish Embassy London. 

Funding for Who Are We? Project 2017 edition:

At the Open University, the Who Are We? project was supported by: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences; Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance ; Citizenship and Governance research at the Open University International Development research at the Open University; and Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF). 

At the University of Warwick, the Who Are We? project has been supported by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account , the Global Research Priority for Connecting Cultures, the University of Warwick’s Impact Fund and Public Engagement Fund

At Loughborough University, the Who Are We? project was supported by Centre for Research in Communication and Culture, the School of Social, Political and Geographical Sciences and the School of The Arts, English and Drama 

At Goldsmiths, University of London, the Who are We? project was supported by two European Research Council funded projects:  ARITHMUS (CoG 615588) and Citizen Sense (StG 313347). 

Learning Labs