Sri Lankan-Canadian Rajni Perera (Toronto) will expand on her ongoing Travellers series of paintings, sonic artworks and scupltures. Amy Lam (Toronto) will create an offsite public project exploring Birmingham’s colonial role in the Chinese tea, opium, and ‘purebred’ dog trades across the Commonwealth. Johannesburg-based painter and filmmaker Thenjiwe Niki Nkosi is developing a multi-site film, performance, and poster project called ‘Equations for a Body at Rest’ which examines the histories of rest and resistance, and experiences of Black track and field athletes running across time and within the white spaces of the sports stadium. Finally, Jon McCurley (Toronto) will develop a performance public realm project focusing on the global chocolate trade through the lens of his Irish-Vietnamese roots, working class family histories in the UK and his parents’ experience of meeting whilst working for Cadbury’s.
The projects will explore Birmingham’s positions, affinities and complicities within the Commonwealth by working with four international artists to create a series of new site-specific projects across the city.