Manamou: Citizens of the World Choir
The story of journeys to Britain encoded onto cloth, physically woven in, where the textile becomes the storyteller
'Manamou' (Mother Mine) is a hand woven textile installation of two large wall hangings placed in a row alongside a song that explores memory and identity. The song is written and sung by Citizens of the World Choir - refugees, migrants and Londoners who share a love of music. The song gives a voice to a group otherwise silenced, a collective memory of journeys taken, homes lost and life recovered.
The wall hangings tell the story of that song and consequently ideas of self. It is a collaborative piece, developed through workshops, where each choir member has made or found fragments / tokens to represent a piece of themselves which I wove onto silk panels. It is a visual record of a shared experience that reflects the multi layered and diverse community we live in through each choice of fragment. The latin word for 'text' is to weave and this visual text is their narrative woven in to form a presence where there previously was an absence. That voice is amplified through the song. As a migrant myself, there is an emotional charge in the making of this as I wove a part of myself, bound by warp and weft into a network of other found fragments given by a community. They are to be treated almost as flags but representing an inverse sense of nationhood, a discourse in heterogeneity. This work celebrates the ordinary as ordinary things become special, imbued with meaning: memories of place and time.