Meet the artists…. Sashwati Mira Sengupta & Jaydev Mistry

Sashwati Mira Sengupta & Jaydev MistryIn a series of blog posts we will get to know the artists who will be taking part in our Microresidencies project a little better.  First up are Sashwati Mira Sengupta & Jaydev Mistry who will be resident in Work in Progress from Fri 25 – Tues 29 July.

Have you collaborated together before?

No, we have known each other for a long time and we both have a shared political interest in our diverse communities and the struggles they have faced and their collaborations with the working class movement in the UK. Through the residency we are both looking forward to finally be working together.

What attracted you to apply for the Microresidencies project? Have you done anything like this before?

We have always enjoyed our visits to the PHM, the history of the lives of working class people is of great importance to us and helps us better understand the struggles that people face today.  The Microresidency is an opportunity to explore the museum’s archives and tap into the expertise that exists there.

Jaydev has been artist in residence at the Contact Theatre: Jaydev’s project there looked into the connections between Manchester and India relating to the cotton trade, India’s Independence struggle and how the warehouses that once stored cotton from the Indian Sub-continent have and still are used for hosting musical events such as club nights and gigs.

Sashwati sees this as a perfect way to combine her interests in music and trade-unionism and she has never done anything like this before

Can you tell me a bit about what you’re planning on doing for your Microresidency….

We shall be exploring the museum’s exhibits and archives and create a soundscape/musical composition and visual response relating to Migrant communities and how they have helped change the course of workers rights in the UK.

What should our visitors expect when they come to your studio?

Visitors should expect objects, documents, musical instruments and a mobile recording facility. They will be able to observe the creation of a soundscape/composition responding to the material we uncover. Also, we shall be encouraging victors to contribute their thoughts and/or experiences, which we shall record and possibly include in the composition.

Do you have a favourite object/display in the PHM?

Jaydev: I love the trade union banners because to me they are a window into the hopes, struggles and lives of the working class.

Sashwati: the section on the Spanish Civil War because it represents Internationalism and the lengths that people will got to for solidarity across the world.

If you could meet any person living or dead, who would it be?

Jaydev: Stephen Hawking

Sashwati: Mangal Pandey who led the 1857 Indian uprising that the British referred to as the Sepoy  mutiny.

If you had a time machine that could only go forwards or backwards in time, would you like to see the past, or visit the future?

Jaydev: The future.

Sashwati: the past, to the 1926 General strike.

What’s your idea worth fighting for?

The ongoing global fight for equality.

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