Chagossians of Manchester (CoM) is a long-term community project led by artist Audrey Albert. As a native of the island of Mauritius, with Chagossian origins, Albert explores Chagossian culture and history through food, music, objects and souvenirs. Her work showcases everyday Chagossian and Mauritian ingredients as well as household objects elevated to a trophy status. She shares stories of empowerment that celebrate Chagossian culture and heritage. Through these works, she pays homage to Chagossian ancestors (including her own) whose descendants are still affected by forceful displacement.
In her Chagossian of Manchester workshops, Albert shares her processes of making work with Chagossian participants. These take the form of cyanotype prints (sunprints) and colourful digital images answering questions like:
What tastes remind you of home? (Ki gou ki rapel twa lakaz | kot twa?) or
Tell me a memory of the sea (Rakont mwa enn suvenir la mer ki twena)
In this sunprint-making workshop hosted at esea contemporary's Communal Project Space, participants are invited to document Chagossian and Mauritian food memories as well as those of other cultural backgrounds that they identify with. Together, we will explore our senses and use them as triggers for specific memories around the notion of home and connections to elders.
This workshop is open to people who share histories of migration or displacement. Participants are invited to bring personal objects and their favourite dry ingredients with them to the workshop.
Limited capacity, sign up is required.
Audrey Albert is a visual artist whose research-led practice enables her to consider and investigate themes of national identity, collective memory, displacement, tradition, and denial. Born in Mauritius with Chagossian origins, Albert is currently based in Manchester. Her major body of work titled Matter Out of Place has been showcased in exhibitions in the UK, France, China, and Mauritius. Albert’s practice is socially engaged and community based. She is also a creative facilitator, hosting photographic workshops around identity, memory, and home. In 2020, Albert created Chagossians of Manchester (CoM), a socially engaged art project by and for the forcefully displaced Chagossian community currently living in Wythenshawe. In 2021, she was selected to be one of the Creative Fellows for the Manchester International Festival. She has also previously worked with Manchester Art Gallery, The Agency, and Contact Theatre, among other institutions and organisations.
Chagossians of Manchester (CoM) is an extension of Audrey Albert’s main body of work and photo series ‘Matter Out of Place’. It is a socially-engaged art project by and for the forcefully displaced Chagossian community currently living in Wythenshawe. It includes intergenerational photographic workshops where participants explore their memories of home and aspects of Chagossian culture directly connected to their identity.