Recipes for Change: Adelita Husni Bey – Who Cares?

Serpentine Gallery 12 Sep 2019 Free

Artist Adelita Husni Bey and the Portman Early Childhood Centre launched their new illustrated book Who Cares?

The project drew on philosopher Eva Feder Kittay’s work on dependency and the ways in which we give and receive care at different points in our lives. From 2017 onwards, the group met intermittently and intensely to map their care relationships and use Theatre of the Oppressed, a community based theatre technique, to share how the cuts had affected the way they performed care and the way care was performed for them.

The narratives that emerged from this process were illustrated by Bey and collectively edited by the group as they imagined what would be possible if the resources for care were more equitably distributed. The story generated through the project was presented as an illustrated book – Who Cares? The book was intended as both a story for carers and children to read together, and as a text that challenges the austerity narrative and proposes a different story; one of solidarity, interdependence and an abundance of care. Who Cares? was the result of a residency by Bey at the Portman Early Childhood Centre, commissioned and supported by Serpentine Education as part of the Changing Play programme.

The Portman Early Childhood Centre provides education, care and family support services for young children and their families living in the Church Street area of Westminster, North London. These include a nursery school, adult education classes, family support, employment services, parenting groups and workshops.

Building on the Radical Kitchen programme launched in 2017, this third season deepened our connections through food. The invited groups met with visitors over a picnic to discuss the ways in which they created sustainable projects and campaigns in their communities. Themes of care, solidarity and resilience ran throughout the work of the groups, who tackled issues as diverse as poverty, migration and community empowerment.