In Other Words is a collection of urgent reflections, created by 49 artists over 4 months in 2020 exploring their hopes and fears for the future at a time of global crisis. Through prose, poetry, drawing, collage and photography it is a clarion call for change from a diverse group rich in wisdom, shared experience, and what it means to be marginalised in the UK.
The artistic content of In Other Words extends beyond this physical book. We recognise that not all our audience will access the book through the text and visual contributions alone, as such we highly recommend everyone listens to the audio-described version. Our aim is not to privilege one version and to acknowledge that they each offer access to the artwork for a wide range of audiences.
The book was devised at the start of the Covid -19 pandemic in the UK, and was initially inspired by an Arundhati Roy quote in April 2020.
“Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred … or we can walk through lightly, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
In this moment of huge unknowing and isolation, arts organisation Metal and their Associate Producer, disabled dance artist and academic Kate Marsh recognised that for many of the artists they were working with – (d)Deaf and disabled, working class, LGBTQIA*, and those experiencing racism – the idea of ‘getting back to normal’ post Covid-19 was a loaded and exclusive concept.
Kate Marsh explains ‘Bringing together artists who exist outside of the ‘norm’ all the time seemed essential in radically re-imagining a new way forward. Marginalisation was and is something that informs me and these artists’ everyday existence. This ‘portal’ and moment of change offered an opportunity to gather our shared knowledge of precarity, to create a space for imagining another world together.
Kate continues: ‘This collection is not a response to the global pandemic. It was not an invitation to artists to make sense of cultural, social and economic chaos. It is a space to gather and gently hold the hopes and fears of a group of artists who live and practice on the margins, to bring them together in all their sameness and differences. To lean into a place where no explanation is required, where we can breathe and not hold our breath for fear of being too much or not enough.’
The resulting publication is a beautiful collection of images and words. Commissioned by Metal and published in partnership with Live Art Development Agency (LADA) it brings together artists working across the performing, literary and visual arts to share their hopes and fears for the future. Contributors explore isolation, longing, gender identity, racism, family bonds, government guidelines, mental health, and ableism amongst many others.
The participating artists are: Amber Akaunu, Amina Atiq, Annie Hanauer, Azara Meghie, Barby Asante, Beverley Bennett, Brian Lobel, Byron Vincent, Claire Cunningham, Dan Daw, David Lock, Dean Atta, Delaine le Bas, Elsa James, Hetain Patel, Hwa Young Jung, Jamal Gerald, Jeremy Goldstein, Jo Bannon, R Justin Hunt, Katherina Radeva, Kelly Green, La JohnJoseph, Lois Weaver, Lu Williams, Luke Pell, Marjorie Morgan, Martin O’Brien, Matty May, Melody Sproates, Noëmi Lakmaier, Nwando Ebizie, Priya Mistry, Quiplash – Al and Amelia Lander-Cavallo, Rachael House, Rachel Mars, Raquel Meseguer, Sarah Hopfinger, Scottee, Selina Nwulu, Selina Thompson, Sheila Ghelani, Sonia Hughes, Tanja Erhart, Tom Marshman, Toni-Dee Paul, Travis Alabanza, Vijay Patel, Xavier de Sousa
“Creating this book has been a wonderful opportunity to capture in print the inventiveness, resilience, empathy and ideas of a group of exceptional artists and thinkers. It is an extraordinary collection, captured in this most extraordinary of times, with the intention to disrupt and provoke as well as soothe, inspire, inform and stimulate.” Colette Bailey, Artistic Director, Metal
“In Other Words is a real tonic – a beautiful, profound and provocative collection of insights into what we’ve all been experiencing and thinking about in this ‘year of years’ by some of the most brilliant artists’ minds around.” Lois Keidan, Live Art Development Agency
The book, edited by Kate Marsh, commissioned by Metal and published by Metal in partnership with Live Art Development Agency, 2020.
Soft cover, 94 pages with colour illustrations throughout.