Becoming British project (2010-2011)

photo: Branka Cvjeticanin – Distressed British flag (found by Michael Pinchbeck and Julian Hughes during their residency on an Everton Brow walk) on the washing line at the Institute.

On 31.01.2010 it was exactly 10 years since Lena entered the country with her hard won Indefinite Leave to Remain visa. Ten years on, we organized a celebration to launch Becoming British, a performance research investigation into what it means today to be British. A select group of guests were invited for this special occasion – representatives from Tuebrook Transnational, Lancaster University and a couple of brand new British citizens. On 31.01.2010 Lena also sent an email requesting her British friends and colleagues for help on her journey to Becoming British.

British friends and colleagues responded and advised how to become British.
After a month of studying, in July 2010 Lena passed ‘Life in the UK’ test.

In December 2010 Lena received Arts Council England funding for the project ‘Becoming British’. She also officially became British in November. Lena has been testing her British friends, colleagues and students with ‘Life in the UK’ test. Some foreigners as well. Nobody passed so far. Investigation continued with some community workshops at the West Everton Community Council. Jennifer Verson joined the project. The performances Blood & Soil: we were always meant to meet took place at the West Everton Community Council (WECC) on 1 April 2011, at Lantern Theatre in Liverpool on 11 December 2011 and at Liverpool Hope University conference ‘Thinking the Absolute’ on 29 June 2012.

Migrant Artists Mutual Aid has been formed by Jennifer Verson in 2011 and Lena is its active member ever since.