& housing contains the word sing: part 4 – love & rage


In the fourth & final article as part ov a partnership between DAO & the Museum ov Homelessness (MoH) on the shared DNA ov homelessness & disability – associate artist ov both organisations gobscure talks love&rage

A primitive figure squats on the ground with the words '& housing contains the word sing' written across it.

& housing contains the word sing – Gobscure 2021

these articles are about the power ov art to rewrite futures, reframe narratives, offer healing & change – however homelessness frequently comes from trauma / oppression so please only read on as / when yu feel comfortable to do so. the same applies to following any links. if / when yu do choose to read this article, we recommend yu do it in private rather than public & give yourself time & space during / after. hold some space for yourselves. if yu need to put in place some safety then do what works well for yu. our therapist always recommends having a blanket & warm drink nearby. as the asylum collective have said long-term ‘be kind on yourselves’.

(p.s. – were currently completing a handbook with DAO on mental distress relating to real-world situations which will include advice like the above. do help yourselves to this & share widely once its available).

please note all moneys that DAO would pay gobscure for these articles / art / their contribution to event are instead being ‘paid forward’ to support other homeless arts projects or individuals

we ended article 3 quoting the words ov Museum ov Homelessness (MoH)

‘for traumatised community’s yu need both healing & justice so lets make something that is ours, an MoH space for healing & justice’.

we’ve used love&rage long-term as our way ov naming this. this articles about that love&rage

a red heart with the words love and rage is set over a black background with lines of white lettering

Love and Rage – Gobscure 2021

returning from working with university ov atypical in belfast a while back we wrote Octavia Butlers quote ‘the normals don’t survive’ in the entrance ov our council flat. there’s rightful anger that too many arts organisations with cultural recovery money have returned to broken, old, toxic ways. these particularly harm any ov us with protected characteristics, the harm multiplying the more oppressions folx experience. yet as the amazing artists / organisations contributing to ‘housing contains the word sing’ demonstrate time & again – art is liberation. life wounds, then gatekeepers aka lanyard-wearers in services engage in lanyard-spreading aka keeping wounded folx out, re-traumatising. then the arts, who mostly organise thru the same gaslighting power structures as psychiatry, social services, education … offer only to re-re-retraumatise folx. we’ll never be allowed to fit their boxes (square-pegs into round-holes which is part ov our forthcoming heartfelt performance (about heart attacks being ‘side-effects’ ov enforced antipsychotic medication) satirises this ants find something tasty, lay down a chemical trail, pretty soon there’s an army marching, minds work in this way, the lanyard-wearers carving grooves into our lived experiences without offering healing or justice. yet minds are fluid, we can disrupt these patterns.

the words n or mal are written over lines of white symbols against a black background

n or mal – Gobscure 2021

the lanyards need to learn from lived experiences! David Tovey talks ov homeless / disability artists : ‘we look after each other – that’s what we do, we think about the bigger picture, think about everyone else around yu & unity comes’. adding: ‘stop seeing me as this tick-box entity, see me as a fucking good artist’. oi! tate modern (the biggest disability ramp we’ve ever seen!) let david take over a tank for an immersive audio – acoustics to send shivers down spines – give back some energy to artist david who has given so much.

a primitive shelter with the words 'stories punch holes in our mental walls - elif shafac' on the sloping roof. In the shelter is the primitive outline of a person squatting on the ground with the words '& housing contains the word sing written across it in bright yellow

Provoked 21 – Bish 2021

Adrian Jackson, theatre-maker (& founding artistic director ov Cardboard Citizens) says : ‘too often consigned to the role ov bystanders thru these terrible times were living thru, i suppose the provocation is do we entirely need to be bystanders or can we be agents ov change? ‘ he talks ov how theatre ov the oppressed works for change. ‘I was very lucky to have an encounter early in my life with Augusto Boal (“The purpose ov Theatre ov the Oppressed is to rehumanize humanity.” — Augusto Boals words ), a solution to a problem that i always knew was there … go to a difficult estate, the last thing they want to talk about is the difficulties – they want to use art to escape, art to be transcendent.’

Enthusiastic about the importance ov fun, Adrian quotes Brecht : ‘a theatre in which yu cannot laugh is a theatre to be laughed at’. Adrian’s advice is keep inventing stuff as Augusto Boal did, keep it stimulated / stimulating, see how much fun can be had, & keep crossing boundaries. Theatre ov the Oppressed is always about the future, always about framing possible futures, what might be possible? Above all place multiple potential futures actively in the hands ov spect-actors – active spectators, participatory audiences.

we mentioned earlier the importance ov disruption – heres a visual about that. its from the body ov work surrounding our show ‘provoked to madness by the brutality ov wealth‘ – described as ‘majestic’ by mgc futures, ‘an insightful & imaginative show’ by Mandala Theatre, ‘a moving, powerful, eloquent show.’ slung low. theres still one date left on tour – 11 november, washington arts centre.

the outline of a figure with engels written upon its left arm and provoked to madness by the brutality ov wealth across the body. A lit match is underneath the figure with the words 'the power ov underclass is disrupting consumption.

Provoked Disruption – Gobscure 2021

we discussed that visual ‘the power ov underclass is disrupting consumption’ with MoH. Jess & Matt (co-founders) said ‘that resonates strongly with us at MoH’. they propose a beauty-full model for the future that the lanyard-wearers would do wise to listen to. over coming years, they wish to ‘remain outside the growth model that all arts organisations all inherently follow that is harmful; & a growth model that the homeless sector has also followed – again to its detriment.

the current trend for trauma excavation is really shit – trauma gets colonised – lets be ahead ov this, hold our ground as trauma-survivors.’ their dream for the next 5 years is that ‘MoH can create space for healing & justice. For traumatised community’s yu need both. MoH retains its integrity & remains accountable only to our community, accessible to the people most important to it at any time.’

organisations & individuals with lived experience ov homelessness & disabilities are offering ways forward working towards healing&justice. immediately after that time ov total war, world war two, the UN declaration on human rights established housings a human right & britain gifted the world the welfare state from NHS to arts council. what unites radical-economists, trauma-therapists, campaigners, environmentalists?

all remind – don’t push back against the top-down argument yu will lose every time. instead, hold yr ground, reframe the narrative. tell the truth including good-news. & above all have some fun framing the argument yr way.

come to the event on the afternoon ov 17th november. housing does contain the word sing, its that simple. heres a closing visual (for now) from our council flat – everything for everyone, love&rage

an articulated figure made from green plastic is leaning against a dolls house. A badge with the words 'everything for everyone' is pinned to its left arm.

Everything for everyone – Gobscure 2021

visit our listings pages for details of the online event ‘& housing contains the word sing on 17 November 2021 – a celebration on healing&justice’ produced by dao with the museum of homelessness