Each year arts organisation Metal invites a number of artists into residence. The artists spend time in the city undertaking research to inform new performances and art works. Working in the city, meeting people and exploring places, invariably ends up with the resulting art works being about Peterborough or involving local residents. This month sees Metal introduce Chardine Taylor Stone – founder of Black Girls Picnic a global movement in collective self care for Black women and girls and Stop Rainbow Racism...
Can you tell us about your work and what you are doing in Peterborough?
As a Cultural Producer, Activist, Educator and Writer the work I produce is quite varied. I can be doing anything from curating an arts event, to a protest or a lecture and sometimes performance. I really value exploring different ways to express my ideas. I’m reluctant to be pigeon holed into a certain ‘practice’. My interests are mostly around subcultures, Black British and working class cultures, queer lives and feminist histories.
What brought you to the city?
I’m from London but grew up in Kettering so not too far away. I mostly visited Peterborough for shopping trips! I was here last summer during the Planet B Festival as part of Scottee’s Queer Commune where I stayed in a caravan for a week at Metal. It rained a lot!
What was it that made you want to come back to Peterborough to develop this next project?
Having grown up not far from here I’m intrigued by what’s happening in the city and how it’s changing quite rapidly. I visited the Millennium Centre and spoke to some elders in the Afro Caribbean community who came here in the 1940s. I live in Brixton, round the corner from the Black Cultural Archives, so it was a joy to me to hear stories that were not centred around London and learn about the contributions the Caribbean community had made to the area. There are many stories here that I think have value and could widen the conversation about culture in the UK.
Who do you hope to work with on this project and who will you engage?
I’m hoping to work mostly with the local Black and Asian communities as much of my work is about challenging what it means to be ‘British’ and what a multi-faceted identity that is. However this is a discussion that all can participate in and, as we are moving towards Brexit, these questions are all the more pertinent. I’m also excited to attend and hopefully contribute to Peterborough’s first Pride week!
What do you hope to achieve with the work?
That’s a tough question! I want to create welcoming engaging spaces, events and activities that enable people to share their experiences –people who may not normally have the opportunity to be heard. I also want to spark some conversations with artists that are local and from elsewhere. On a personal level I’m looking to extend my practice and my love for film and photography, so being in residence at Metal is great opportunity.
How can people get involved?
If you are from a Black and Asian background living in Peterborough or near I’d be very interested in talking to you! Have you moved here recently? Were you born here? Or are you a few generations down or up? Are you involved in local women’s groups or LGBT Groups? You can contact me by emailing Metal at or by calling 01733 893 077
What’s the best thing about Peterborough?
The opportunity. The Sue Ryder shop and whoever sells those nice hot dogs in the square!
To find out more, visit: www.metalculture.com