Jamboree #1: Clara Casian – Manchester, my adopted city

Originally published: 11 January 2016 – https://www.a-n.co.uk/blogs/jamboree/post/52436594/

Clara Casian reflects on her responsibility towards her adopted city and its interconnected web of possibilities

Jamboree provided me with a good knowledge on how people and places operate outside my area. I lived in Manchester for a few years and only recently I started feeling like I belong. As part of one Jamboree session I was invited to think more thoroughly about living and practising in the city as an artist and what that entails. I immediately imagined a psychogeographical tour around Manchester. I imagined the people and the places forming a drawing that followed my own journey of connecting to the place. The drawing would map out my involvement with Corridor8 and FACTfollowed by my Rogue studio neighbours that formed Film Material Soup, the Life and Use of Books and then HOME, seeing how all these people and places took the role connectors that would each form different trajectories.

This cartographical drawing also gave me a sense of movement, and I thought of the urban exploration one would take when encountering a city with novel eyes, and what strategies there are in place. In Martin Clark’s session as part of Jamboree, he talked about place and locality and during the talk there was a beautiful extract from Lucy R. Lippard’s The Lure of Local which might provide interesting ground for discussion. The talk was oriented towards place and belonging and there was a mention of the feel of responsibility towards the place you live in, which stuck with me and I felt it was related to my own progression in the city. In my case, things changed when I started feeling more responsible towards the place and connecting with people and spaces created an interconnected web of possibilities that inherently pushed my practice in a different way.

Overall I really enjoyed Jamboree and I think everyone’s journey is different. For any newcomer looking to learn about the place and even Manchester I would recommend a serendipitous walk around the city, as the one led by Morag Rose as part of the Loiterers Resistance Movement, the collective of urban explorers: “Look around you and there’s magic!”

Clara Casian – 2016