Supported by the Brent 2020 Culture Fund, The October Anthropologist team will conduct anthropological research into the lives of Southern/Eastern European immigrants who reside in Brent and work as baristas in London cafes.
We will conduct interviews with European immigrants, learn about their: immigration stories, experiences navigating the job market and as baristas, how they imagine the future, especially given Brexit’s uncertainty. We will analyze and exhibit the findings in an interactive way at Two Doors Down in Willesden Green on 13 September. We will translate the research into a variety of artistic forms, such as experience mapping, live performance, as well as exhibit the research artifacts, such as audio and video recordings and notes.
We will invite the research participants to perform during the exhibition. Upon completion, we will donate the project to Brent Archives, since it documents and illustrates a unique moment of the experiences of a particular population during Brexit. This project contributes to larger public debates around immigration and Brexit today.
Specifically, we will uncover stories about the lives and labor histories of Southern and Eastern Europeans working in the café culture of London. We will reveal multiple layers of what it means to be an immigrant in London today. This includes discriminatory barriers that prevent this population from using their education and employment skills in London’s labor market. We will examine the invisible contributions of this population and how their educational and cultural backgrounds are essential to the carefully crafted café culture in London.
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