AM I NOT HUMAN TOO
IN THE VIOLATION
OF THE INSIDERS?
B O U N D R I E S
ERECT NEW BOUNDRIES
BRINGING THEM INTO OUR COUNTRY
SEND THEM HOME
ROUND THEM UP
CHUCK / KICK THEM OUT
LIMIT / TARGET / CONTROL THEM
MIX / GAIN / SCROUNGE / BLEND
SUBMERGES / DOMINATES / SUBJUGATES
TRADITIONAL BRITISH CULTURE
ON THE INSIDERS
WHEN THEY HAVE TO WALK DOWN THE STREET
(ALWAYS PRECEDED BY A NEGATIVE EVALUATION)
WITH THE CONCLUSION THAT
‘THEY ’ ARE CHANGING ‘OUR’
LIVING ENVIRONMENT FOR THE WORSE
SEEKS SUCKS DRAINS BLEEDS AIMS LIVES OFF
SPONGES EXPLOITS MILKS GRASPS FEEDS
ON THE LIFE BLOOD OF
LEECHES BLOODSUCKERS PARASITES
ON OUR TREASURE ISLAND
THIS ZINE CONSISTS ENTIERLY OF MANIPULATED IMAGES AND TEXT FROM THE UK MEDIA. FROM PHOTOGRAPHS TAKEN BY GILES DULEY PUBLISHED IN AN ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN IN NOVEMBER 2015. ENTITLED CEMETERY OF SOULS: THE REFUGEE CRISIS ON LESBOS, AS PART OF HIS WORK WITH THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR). STAITIONED ON THE GREEK ISLAND OF LESBOS TO DOCUMENT THE DAILY ARRIVAL OF THOUSANDS OF DESPERATE PEOPLE FROM SYRIA, AFGHANISTAN AND BEYOND. TEXT TAKEN FROM A RESEARCH ESSAY DOCUMENTING THE LANGUAGE USED BY FIVE OF THE UKS MOST WIDESPREAD MEDIA OUTLETS, DETAILING THE MOST COMMON WORDS AND RHETORIC USED AMONGST THEM. THESE IMAGES AND TEXTS WERE COMPILLED BY MELANIE WHEELER DURING A RESEARCH PROJECT AS PART OF THE FLOATING ISLAND RESEIDENCY 2015 AND PRODUCED FOR ‘AM I NOT HUMAN’ 2016 TO RAISE MONEY IN AID OF THE UNHCR & OTHER REFUGEE CHARITIES.
Melanie began working on this project during the Floating Island residency; an open call residency held at the end of 2015, with an open brief that provided project space for individuals to develop there personal practice.
This work marks for her a huge development in her own practice, as it is the first time she feels she has managed to successfully combine the use of all mediums in which she works, which are usually separate forms. This work allowed her to bring together sculpture, installation, collage, writing and music as one coherent project.
The zine and installation developed over months of research, as she spent the time on the residency investigating the magnitude of the refugee crisis and the UK media’s (at times disconcerting) representation of it. The zine is made entirely of manipulated images taken from the media, and text from research essay’s documenting the most commonly used language, in articles surrounding the refugee crisis, from five of the UK’s main media outlets.
Frustratingly the residency came to an abrupt end without an exhibition, so to make use of the work Melanie organised a fundraising event at Islington Mill in February 2016. The event consisted of a full installation of her work and performances from live musicians. An edition of 150 copies of this zine were printed on a risograph and given out to each guest on the night.
The night was successful and we collectively raised £500 for refugee charities – The UNHCR & Care4Calais.
I am also interested in collaborative projects with a focus on creating immersive environments.
I use writing as a medium for social commentary and critical thinking.