Tanatswa Borerwe selected to become a fellow at The British Council’s Steward-Research Fellowship programme

Tanatswa Borerwe was selected through a competitive interview and application process to become a fellow at The British Council’s Steward-Research Fellowship programme, taking place at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2020. Considering the global pandemic, the 17th International Architecture Exhibition will now run from 22nd May to 21st November 2021. Tanatswa will be joining 9 other fellows from across the UK in Group 1 over the opening week of the Biennale. This funded trip is possible with HTA’s partnership with the programme, where they will be supporting her to embark on a one- month Fellowship.

The programme is a unique opportunity for students, graduates, and researchers to spend a month in Venice during the world’s most important art and architecture biennales. They will participate for approximately three days per week as an invigilator in the British Pavilion with the remaining time used for study and research in response to ideas within How Will We Live Together and/or The British Pavilion’s exhibition of The Garden of Privatised Delights.

HTA as a participating partner will have the opportunity to link research with other UK-based and international organisations, the chance to send a practitioner to Venice to embark on a unique personal and professional development experience and the possibility to incorporate Biennale themes into their practices. For Tanatswa not only will she be supported to conduct independent research in and around Venice that will contribute to her professional studies, she, will be encouraged to develop a creative and professional network across the UK and internationally.

Tanatswa’s independent research will explore Liminal space in the intimate homes of migrant’s residing in Venice. One theory is that liminal space is defined as a ‘hybrid’ site that witnesses the production – rather than just the reflection. Contemporary intimate, domestic scenes of migrant experiences are currently seldom seen in art institutes. Immigrants exist in multiple spaces simultaneously. For the first time in 2005, The Geffrye Museum, London, displayed a representation of a black migrant domestic setting curated by Michael McMillan. The brutal murder of George Floyd instigated campaigns for change within the Black Lives Movement. The exploration interrogates the position of institutions and museums. What does it mean to explore those metaphorical subtleties of space? Venice bears witness to seemingly hidden narratives, primarily through the material cultures of migrants. Material culture is 'the study through artifacts of the beliefs-value artifacts attitudes, and assumptions of a particular assumptions society at a given time.' Prown.D,J (1982)

With this research, Tanatswa hopes to capture the migrant Liminal spaces, visualise, and archive. These intimate spaces highlight and give value to the hybridised spaces: ideas, trade and migration through exchanges making a tribute to Venice’s cosmopolitan history. The research asks key questions on notions of value and ownership. It asks what does it mean to hold on to something and what does it mean to lose it? The research is about remembering and preserving memories through material culture. Reasons for this exploration lie in understanding how such intimate spaces such as a living room have significantly shaped identity. Ultimately, underpinning this research is an exploration of the difficulties of designing homes for all.

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