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Talking Pictures: Every picture tells a story

(Pilot programme) at Tate Liverpool - February and March 2020


An art project for refugees and asylum seekers living in Liverpool.

Co designed with Tate Liverpool, Curation and delivery by Adi Lerer.

Talking Pictures was developed to enable links between refugees and asylum seekers living in Liverpool and Tate Liverpool's staff and visitors. The project aims to improve the confidence and self-esteem of the group and help to reduce the isolation they face by developing new skills and widening their network.


Tate Liverpool has all the right ingredients to facilitated these aims by acting as a meeting point. And using its free to the public permanent art collection as a starting point for conversation, exchange, self-exploration and knowledge production.


Once a week for three hours the group explored Tate Liverpool Collection including a visit to the Theaster Gates temporary exhibition. The members of our group identified 1-2 artworks in the gallery that resonated with them, and over the course of the project they were encouraged to deliver a talk in response to it in their own language and in English.


Throughout the course, the group acquired the tools to interpret the artworks through exercises, talks and creative workshops. Members gained confidence to speak about their selected artworks and act as guides. They were practicing a short gallery talk to invited audiences and members of the public. These talks were recorded to enable a wider public reach and, where possible, will be available alongside the discussed work as interpretation tools for our visitors.


An aspiration is that with further funding we will be able to take this project to the next stage; developing a comprehensive training programme for refugees to lead guided tours in the gallery in their own language and English, and to engage with visitors and locals. It is also our intention for the group members to remain involved through Tate Liverpool's Community or Family Collectives, peer led groups which inform the activities and resources delivered by Tate Liverpool, or by becoming volunteers.


Photo by Roger Sinek

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