SOAS University of London

SOAS scholars and students collaborate on Utopia 2016 festival video project

16 November 2016

SOAS academics and students have collaborated with Giulia Saccogna and Damian Hicks to create a video installation for Utopia 2016, held at Somerset House.

For Where are we now, SOAS staff and academics were asked to provide translations for the video installation. Dr Rachel Harris, Reader in Ethnomusicology in SOAS’s Department of Music, translated Uyghur and SOAS students Alexandra Knott and Emanuela Pergolizzi translated Turkish, and Zhencheng Yang and Yifan Li translated Mandarin.

The video installation, Where are we now, examines a cultural cross section of Europe and Asia. Filmed during an eight-month cycling trip from London to Hong Kong, the installation features video interviews recorded every one hundred kilometres asking the same questions to build a comparative sense of responses. The project wasmotivated by the recent migration crisis and explores links between place, belonging, happiness and people’s hopes and perception of the future.

The installation will be in the Great Arch Hall, Somerset House until 20 November 2016 as part of UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility, a year-long event to celebrate the 500th anniversary of Thomas More's Utopia.