They Are Here
Precarity Centre

5 February – 23 March 2016



Collective practice They Are Here transformed Grand Union into Precarity Centre, a framework for an interdisciplinary programme of talks, videos, performance & installation exploring precarity. It was also an experiment in social space, seeding interaction between local precarious groups.

The main space featured the improvised sculpture M.A.S.S. (2016), built on site by Ioanna Pantazopoulou, comprised of 600 kg of scrap foam sourced from a local industrial factory. Complimented by 21 Variously Sized Blocks of Foam (2016) by They Are Here, which doubled as a modular seating system for various events. The alcove hosted a changing program of moving image work featuring Masking Tape Intervention: Lebanon 1989 (2013) by Helene Kazan.

Events included ‘Fear is a bad advisor’: a screening and talk by artist Seecum Cheung which took place on 3rd March, exploring the rise of the extreme-right across Europe and the role of mainstream media. On 12th March, psychiatrist Dr Khaldoon Ahmed hosted a discussion relating precarity to mental health and on 19th March, artist Madeleine Botet De Lacaze lead a workshop in astrology. Finally, a number of events have emerged through responses to an open call out. For example on March 18, Nikki-Dee Haddleton hosted a discussion around the work of SIFA Fireside, a progressive Digbeth based charity supporting homeless people.

Wednesday 23rd March

To celebrate the closing of Precarity Centre, Birmingham band The Dissenters performed a live set, followed by an invitation to destroy Ioanna Pantazopolou’s sculpture M.A.S.S (2016) comprised of 600kg of foam.


See the calendar opposite for a full list of activity.

They Are Here (f.2006) is a collective practice steered by Helen Walker & Harun Morrison. Their work can be seen as a series of context-specific games that explore modes of cooperation and group dynamics. These collaborations emerge from intentional invitations in demarcated sites such as a public square or incidental finds, e.g. a classified advert in a Russian language newspaper, which lead to unexpected encounters and relationships.