For anyone living in the UK, or even beyond, it is common knowledge that Brexit is a very controversial topic. Indeed, it has divided the country to a greater extent than any other initiative, perhaps since the Iraq war in 2003. However, Brexit was nonetheless delivered by the Conservative party on the 31st of January this year.
Considering the recent disagreements on the topic, it is clear that a big proportion of UK citizens do not empathise with the Brexiteers. An exhibition at the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Brexit Tears, is dedicated to the recent happenings in the UK and the process of leaving the European Union.
Calum Calvin’s and Robert Crawford’s collaboration presents anti-Brexit sentiments. The exhibition, located in the heart of Edinburgh, the Royal Mile, suggests the pro-EU position of Scottish communities – reflected in the general elections, with the SNP winning their biggest majority of Scottish votes yet. Like Brexit, the collection of artworks presented too is very political as well as socially and culturally poignant.
Brexit Tears includes photographs and poetry that together create a very nostalgic and sentimental aura in the space. The artists’’ choices of visuals and wording give the works a very satirical tone. A framed black square has the caption ‘LEAVE.CON’; a picture of a woman by the sea with a melancholic expression on her face says ‘UK PASTPORT’. These and a few more parts of the collection, expose the audience to anti-Brexit sentiments. The artists emphasise Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, underlining the origins of the anti-conservative, pro-EU tendencies.
At first glance, the exhibition might seem very nihilistic, considering that Brexit has already officially been delivered. It presents the country using an image of a chicken locked in a cage all alone, symbolising the isolation that the UK has put itself into. However, the collection has a positive essence to it as well, suggesting the artists’ hope of further devolution of the UK, or independence of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Therefore, this collection of photography and poetry emphasises that, even though we might be weeping Brexit tears for now, hope should not be lost and the possibility of better things coming ahead still stands.
Image: Tebo Steele via Flickr