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Led by Professor Lucy Orta, Chair of Art in the Environment at London College of Fashion (LCF) and part of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Passagens aims to interrogate dialogues about a cross-disciplinary subject whilst addressing issues surrounding the act of migration. Taking its meaning from the linguistic variables of the Portuguese ‘passagem’, which implies a number of different journeys: from one period in life to another, from one country, language culture and conviction to another, from being home to being a foreigner, from student to professional, child to teenager to adult, but also from one geological epoch to another, and allows for diverse perspectives to interweave.

Postgraduate students (both taught and research), staff and alumni at University of the Arts London as well as researchers and practicioners in the field are invited to join the Passagens series of reading groups, offering a broad historical context and the insight by artists and curators whose work evolve around the themes of migration, social sustainability and the environment.

Passagens was set up in 2016 in response to increased anxiety amongst students at University of the Arts London (UAL) to address the meaning and the issues surrounding the act of migration, triggered in part by the UK vote to leave the EU. A full archive of events that took place in the first year can be accessed here

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Session 1
Professor Lucy Orta in conversation with Professor Helen Storey

24 October 2017
London College of Fashion

Hear two leading Professors from UAL’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion in conversation, speaking about their own projects that directly relate to themes of environmental change, social sustainability and migration.

The work of Helen Storey (Professor of Fashion and Science), widely spans the arts, sciences and new technology fields. Producing projects that illuminate aspects of science and wellbeing in ways that directly interact with the public, with the broad aim of helping individuals reach their full creative potential, Helen will talk about her recent experiences at the Za’atari Camp in Jordan, and projects Love Coats and Dress For Our Time. Using the power of fashion to communicate some of the world’s most complex issues, through fashion, science and wonder, these projects help us change the way we think and act upon climate change.

Lucy Orta‘s, (UAL Chair of Art in the Environment) practice as an artist, focuses on social and ecological issues, employing a diversity of media including, drawing, sculpture, installation, couture, photography, video and performance. She often works with communities to create large-scale public projects and exhibits objects resulting from her research in major museums internationally. Lucy has recently presented the Antartica World Passport Delivery Bureau project at the Frieze art fair in London

The ‘in-conversation’ will be followed by a Q&A with the audience, and a drinks reception.

Read a student report about this event

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Session 2
Counterpoint Arts: The Artist as Agitator in an Age of Migration and Dis/Placement 

6 March 2018
Chelsea College of Arts

Counterpoint Art’s Co- Director, Áine O’Brien discussed the role of artists in a global age of migration and displacement. Áine spoke from her extensive experience of producing creative work (including documentary film, print, exhibitions and curation) which explores storylines linking migration with social justice. She shared more about the work of Counterpoint Arts, a leading national organisation working in the field of arts, migration and social change.

Counterpoint Arts works across all art forms and collaborate with a range of people and partners: artists, arts/cultural and educational organizations and civil society activists and is based in Hoxton, London.

Read a student report about this event

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The Passagens series is organized by Lucy Orta, UAL Chair of Art and the Environment, Centre for Sustainable Fashion (CSF) in collaboration with CSF Associate Curator Camilla Palestra, and is supported by the UAL Postgraduate Community.

Photo: Orta Antarctica World Passport Bureau, FIAC Paris
© Lucy + Jorge Orta, 2013