Serpentine Pavilion Saturday 30 September 2023, 1.30 - 8pm Price: £5, £3 conc. Donate today BSL Interpreted

A day of discussion, activations and music to celebrate the launch of How We Hold: Rehearsals for Art and Social Change, a book by Serpentine Education and Civic.

How We Hold is a publication drawing directly from collaborative projects that span over a decade of Serpentine Education and Civic programmes. The book uplifts and celebrates the creativity and resistance of artists, organisers, and the many people who have generated and shaped these projects – including children in nursery, labour organisers, educators, carers, young people in academy schools, and those navigating the immigration system – who find hope, possibility and life in the most difficult of circumstances.

The book’s contributors and collaborators spoke at the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion to celebrate the launch of How We Hold. The day included discussion, activations and music by Barby Asante, Camille Barton, Ain Bailey, Adelita Husni Bey, Rae Johnson, Farzana Khan, Harold Offeh, Zahra Bei, Kadeem Marshall-Oxley and Jasleen Kaur.



13:30 Tea and coffee

14:00 Introductions

14:20 Opening with Barby Asante

14:45 Liberating Education: What does freedom look and feel like?

Adelita Husni Bey, Zahra Bei and Kadeem Marshall-Oxley

15:40 Break

16:00 Embodying Change: How can we work towards collective transformation?

Camille Barton, Rae Johnson and Farzana Khan

17:00 Embodying Empowerment with Harold Offeh

17:30 Blessings Amongst Blessings with Meenadchi

17:50 Thank you and food served

18:00 DJ Set by Ain Bailey

20:00 Ends

Displayed in the Pavilion were picnic blankets from Everyday Resistance, a project developed by Jasleen Kaur in collaboration with mothers and children from the Portman Early Childhood Centre, with design by Cecilia Serafini. The project asks how cooking and eating together can be a site of resistance.


About How We Hold

How We Hold brings together project notes and documentation, conversations, commissioned texts, and exercises to ask, where do we go when things fall apart, when home has been taken away, when the cracks appear? How do we find moments of rest, joy and pleasure within ongoing crisis? How do we organise?

The publication was created for arts educators, cultural workers, facilitators, organisers and those who are interested in working collectively with others, who want to use creative practice to work towards change, through personal and social transformation. Designed to be used both within organisations and as a tool to critique them, How We Hold supports dissenting and oppositional conversations, and offers pragmatic challenges to neoliberal and colonial models of education and administration still found in museums, arts organisations and other institutions today.

Artist Bios

Barby Asante

Barby Asante is a London-based artist, curator and educator whose work explores space, place and identity. The drive of her work is to create spaces for dialogue, collective thinking, ritual, and re-enactment. 

Camille Barton

Camille Barton is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and embodiment researcher, who uses afrofuturism to imagine creative interventions towards systems change. They are invested in breaking down the mind body separation that is dominant in Western paradigms in order to create more space for flexible thinking, holistic healing and bridging across differences. Camille’s art practice weaves dance, clowning, DJing, facilitation, film and cultural production. 

Ain Bailey

Ain Bailey is a composer, artist and DJ. She also facilitates workshops considering the role of sound in the formation of identity and conducts sound workshops with LGBTI+ refugees and asylum seekers. Past exhibitions include The Range at Eastside Projects, Birmingham; RE:Respite at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, and a solo show at Cubitt Gallery, London, called And We’ll Always Be A Disco In The Glow Of Love (2019). In 2020 Bailey and Ego Ahaiwe Sowinski were commissioned by Studio Voltaire, London, as part of their Desperate Living programme, for which they created both a composition and print entitled “Remember To Exhale”. Last year, Bailey was commissioned by Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge, to create the exhibition “Version” and composed “Atlantic Railton” which was part of the Listening To The City sound installation programme in architect Sumayya Vally’s 2021 Serpentine Pavilion. 2022 sees Bailey commissioned for the Black Melancholia group exhibition at CCS Bard, New York, US and Bruckenmusik in Cologne, Germany. 

Zahra Bei

Zahra Bei is a PhD candidate at UCL Institute of Education in the department of Education, Practice and Society. Zahra is researching race/racism in education, school exclusion, dis/ability and the school-to-prison pipeline using Critical Race Theory, Black Feminist thought, Whiteness and Abolition as both an analytical lens and an organising praxis. Zahra is a recovering teacher and middle leader with 20 years in the classroom, both in mainstream secondary education and PRU/alternative provisions in London. Zahra is one of the co-founders of the Coalition of Anti-racist Educators (CARE) and of No More Exclusions (NME). Zahra’s anti-racist praxis is intersectional and rooted in internationalism, feminism and anti-capitalism. 

Adelita Husni Bey

Adelita Husni Bey is an artist and educator interested in anarcho-collectivism, theatre, law, and urban studies. Committed to social practice that can exist both within and outside the museum, while addressing the material conditions of work-making, she organises gatherings and produces workshops and exhibitions using non-competitive pedagogical models through the framework of contemporary art. Husni Bey regularly engages with museums, institutional education departments and universities as sites of production. However, the artist’s commitment to social practice outside the museum has also led to work with hospitals, high schools, squats, after-school writing programs, pro bono immigration organisations, activists and theatre companies. A commitment to reevaluating the material conditions of work-making drives Husni Bey’s practice of establishing collaborators as part-owners of editions of the collectively produced work. She is a 2012 Whitney Independent Study Program fellow, a 2020–2022 Vera List Center fellow and has represented Italy at the Venice Biennale of Art, 2017. 

Rae Johnson

Rae Johnson, PhD, RSW, RSMT, BCC is a scholar, activist, social worker, and somatic movement therapist working at the intersection of embodiment and social justice. Rae is the author of Embodied Social Justice and the forthcoming Embodied Activism. 

Farzana Khan

Farzana Khan (she/her) is Healing Justice London’s co-founder and Executive Co-Director. Her practice works on building community health, repair and self-transformation rooted in disability justice, survivor work and trauma-in-formed practice working with communities of colour and other marginalised and underrepresented groups. Farzana has over 10 years of background in Youth and Community work, particularly focused on arts-based education projects both in the UK and internationally. Farzana is the former creative and strategic director at Voices that Shake, bringing together young people, artists and campaigners to develop creative responses to social injustice. She ran this working at Platform London, a climate and social justice organisation working across arts, education, research and activism.

Farzana is a trustee of the International Curatorial Forum and Stuart Hall Foundation. She also sits on the advisory board of Kids of Colour.

Harold Offeh

Harold Offeh is an artist working in a range of media including performance, video, photography, learning and social arts practice. Offeh is interested in the space created by the inhabiting or embodying of histories. He employs humour to confront the viewer with historical narratives and contemporary culture. He has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally including at Tate Britain, Tate Modern and South London Gallery in London; Studio Museum Harlem, New York; MAC VAL, France, and Art Tower Mito, Japan.  



Meenadchi teaches Non-Violent Communication with a decolonial and transformative justice lens (DNVC) and is a family constellation facilitator. They were introduced to Non-Violent Communication in 2002, finding it to be a profoundly transformative tool for changing how they speak to themselves and others. Their practice has been shaped over time by their work with survivors of state violence, gender-based violence, complex trauma and serious mental illness. Meenadchi believes that our lives are not an accident. If we are here together, then it must be so that we can find each other—and that collectively, we will find our way through.

Jasleen Kaur

Jasleen Kaur (b.1986, Glasgow, Scotland) is an artist based in London. Her work is an ongoing exploration into the malleability of culture and the layering of social histories within the material and immaterial things that surround us. Her practice examines diasporic identity and hierarchies of history, both colonial and personal. She works with sculpture, video and writing. Recent and upcoming commissions include Wellcome Collection, UP Projects, Glasgow Women’s Library, Market Gallery, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Eastside Projects and Hollybush Gardens. Her work is part of the permanent collection of Touchstones Rochdale, Royal College of Art and Crafts Council.

Kadeem Marshall-Oxley

Kadeem Marshall-Oxley is a radical poet and grassroots community organiser with No More Exclusions (NME), whose mission is to remove the headteacher’s right to exclude young people altogether and to abolish school exclusion in all its forms. This is part of attempting to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline and create an inclusive education system that works for all, especially those who are alienated and marginalised. Marshall-Oxley’s call to activism was an organic response to experiences of dealing with racism in a UK context, having being targeted since his first engagement with the education system.

How We Hold Launch Credits

Curated by: Civic and Education Team – Amal Khalaf, Elizabeth Graham, Layla Gatens, Alex Thorp, Jemma Egan

Executive Producer: Holly Shuttleworth

Production Manager: Andy Downie

Production Assistants: Isobel Peyton-Jones, Manuela Cochat, K Bailey Obazee

Events: Esme Evan-Cook

BSL Interpreters: Rachel Jones, Deborah McLeod

Visual Notetaking: Sadie St Hilaire, Migrants in Culture

Design: in the shade of a tree

Video: SOUP Collective

Photography: Matthew Ritson, Saima Khalid

Food: Mestizo

Care Support: Hestia


With thanks to the wider Serpentine teams including on-the-day staff from facilities, cleaning and event set-up, delivery and take down.


How We Hold Contributors

Abdullah, ACT ESOL Research Group, agency for agency, Nelly Alfandari, Anti Raids Network, Barby Asante, Ain Bailey, Camille Barton, Khairani Barokka, Barking and Dagenham Youth Dance, Zahra Bei, Bedfellows, Beverley Bennett, Jay Bernard, Becontree Broadcasting Station, Birmingham Asylum and Refugee Association, Blak Outside, Sonia Boyce, Clare Butcher, Helen Cammock, Carlton Dene Care Home, Centre for Urban Pedagogy, Teresa Cisneros, Chloe Cooper, Collective Creativity, Cradle Community, Sam Curtis, Phoebe Davies, Kim Dhillon, English for Action, Patrick Farmer, FerArts, Andrea Francke, Christine Gasper, Gateway Academy, Joon-Lynn Goh, Green Shoes Arts, Jess Harrington, Bahbak Hashemi-Nezhad, bell hooks, Adelita Husni Bey, Evan Ifekoya, Implicated Theatre, Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter, Invisible Spaces of Parenthood, Adam James, Rae Johnson, Jacob V Joyce, Raisa Kabir, Anton Kats, Jasleen Kaur, Farzana Khan, Suzanne Lacy, Latin American Workers Association, Taylor Le Melle, Gail Lewis, John Lockhart, London Asbestos Awareness Group, Paul Maheke, Kadeem Marshall-Oxley, Emma McGarry, Meenadchi, Micro Rainbow, Migrants Resource Centre, Jenny Moore, Nawi Collective, New Town Culture,, Harold Offeh, Omikemi, Other Cinemas, Pause, PEARL, Rory Pilgrim, Albert Potrony, Portman Early Childhood Centre, Raju Rage, Nisha Ramayya, RESOLVE Collective, Frances Rifkin, Ilona Sagar, Azad Ashim Sharma, Beverley Skeggs, Skin Deep, Unite’s Hotel Workers union, Daniella Valz Gen, Nicolas Vass, Voices for Domestic Workers, Voices That Shake!, Jackie Wang, Adam J B Walker, Ed Webb-Ingall, Westminster Academy, Westmead Elderly Resource Centre, Becky Winstanley, Chris X, Abbas Zahedi, Rehana Zaman, and others.


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