Gesture by Vukašin Nedeljkovic – Artist, Activist & Independent scholar

GESTURE THREE by Vukašin Nedeljkovic

GESTURE is a new space within Our Thriving Tribe Project (OTT) where arts professionals were commissioned to consider entrepreneurship from the perspective of the arts in Ireland and respond with a gesture.

Each Gesture was digitally documented: this documentation became part of Our Thriving Tribes research materials. Each unique Gesture remained with the arts professional. The commissioned documentation from GESTURE will be exhibited online, shared through the OTT & AHEH projects digital platforms and published in the Our Thriving Tribe publication.

Vukašin Nedeljkovic initiated the multidisciplinary platform Asylum Archive & holds a Masters in Visual Arts Practice at Dunlaoghaire Institute of Arts, Design & Technology.

He has exhibited both nationally and internationally. His recent contributions include Reiterating Asylum Archive: documenting direct provision in Ireland, 2018 and Asylum Archive: an Archive of Asylum and Direct Provision in Ireland, 2016, 2017. He was recently awarded an Arts and Activism bursary from the Arts Council and has recently published Asylum Archive publication. Asylum Archive is a platform open for dialogue and discussion inclusive to individuals who have experienced a sense of sociological/geographical ‘displacement’, social trauma and violence. It is an act of solidarity to bring a different perspective on the life of people who came to Ireland to seek protection.

Asylum Archive’s objective is to collaborate with asylum seekers, artists, academics and activists, amongst others, with a view to creating an interactive documentary cross-platform online resource, critically foregrounding accounts of exile, displacement, trauma and memory.

Vukašin partcipated in the OTT zoom room sessions which can be viewed here.

GESTURE THREE by Vukašin Nedeljkovic – Artist, Activist & Independent scholar

In my view, the Irish arts community has become increasingly vocal over the last few years, in engaging with social issues, helping to enhance the visibility of various activist campaigns. However, I believe that, as a society, we have a long way to go in addressing the inequalities occurring within our communities. As an artist and activist, I continue to explore the processes of collaboration with the asylum seekers community. Asylum Archive has a contributory aspect, creating a collaborative and collective space where individuals from other social and political subcultures can contribute to an on- line repository of Direct Provision. The contributory element is deliberately designed for asylum seekers to upload their visual or written experience from Direct Provision centres. One relatively recent contribution included photographs from Mount Trenchard Direct Provision Centre, a centre for single men, located in Foynes – a remote and rural area in County Limerick. The photographs were taken using a smartphone and accurately represent the isolation and destitution faced by asylum seekers in Ireland today.

How did Corona pandemic affect residents of DP?

How did most people manage to survive?

During the lockdown, most of the members of the Irish society were following the rules and regulations issued by the State and stayed in their homes – cocooning and implementing social distance requirements. People in DP or homeless population continued to live in their dwellings and in most cases, having their beds next to room mates bed – with almost no psychical distance apart.

During that time some of the people in DP answered my call and contributed their gestures and responses to current crisis. This photograph is from an artist living in DP. His gesture stayed with me for some time. It is part of Asylum Archive.

We really need to re-think as a society the way we treat marginalized and vulnerable people. We need to value their presence in our lives and help them realize their potentials, and in many cases their creative – artistic endavours.