The New Normal Memorial

Beyond a Plinth and an Headstone

New commissions during the Covid 19 pandemic for QTPOC artists and creative collectives, supporting over 20 people to respond to the theme of future communities.

What ideas, ideologies or ecologies [of commemoration and future change] might we wish to spread/share? In these current climatic, virtual and viral pandemics, how do we care for the self and/or the other when we are constantly reminded to be resilient?

The expression “The New Normal” came into vogue since 9/11, supposedly to describe the new measures everybody had to adjust to because of “the terrorist threat”. We have incessantly heard it again in the UK since Covid 19 entwined with languages of war.

How do we imagine creating, making and doing beyond the going back to, or changing a life that was never normal? How can we explore and make tangible what the yonder sounds, feels, looks and smells like in the context of brutalised pasts and the global neo-colonial present?

Are we already living “the new normal” – a toxic, neoliberal pandemic that forces us cyclically to prostrate and comply, deviate from and resist? Do we need to create a new memorial for future toppling?

If the usual model is: Rescue | Relief | Recovery – Where do Rights | Reparations | Revolutions sit?

Where is the “we” and who are our communities? How do we create these to have, an action of agency, justice, persistent will, power and sustainable resources? How might we be together as a community in the future?

Curated by Poulomi Desai. Funded by Arts Council England