MA Digital Media student Sead Baliu has been involved in a collaboration with Luca Ponticelli, an MA student at Central Saint Martins.
Their project, 'E8plus', is a community-based project and urban exhibition set in Hackney Central, London that aims to connect local design students and start-up designers with homeless people living in their community by triggering a dialogue between the two communities.
The project intends to raise awareness about the coexistence of art and poverty in Hackney in response to the rapid gentrification of this area. Designers can enrich their practice by adopting a local and social outlook, while homeless people are given the opportunity to participate in dialogue and be involved in the community development. Moreover, they can benefit and get inspired by each others views and stories and therefore learn from each other.
Art and stories are the elements in the recipe of E8plus, aiming to drive the project in the local community. It can be defined as stories communicated through a visual language, combining people's features to hold an identity of multiple personas. It's a manipulation of the participants’ imagery through collage. When generating content by telling real stories through art, in a short or long term, E8plus aims to create a shift in local residents’ everyday action, reaction and interaction towards homelessness, especially in their area.
The final art pieces that resulted out of this project were displayed in the projects' first exhibition and sold through a silent auction. The proceeds were donated to charitable organisations. Sead is currently working on a final documentary of the project, being his final MA project for his study programme.
For further information please see Sead on Youtube.