Once upon a time all artisans and craftspeople would go on a ‘wanderjahre’, plying their trades and learning new skills as they travelled the world. Today, in the English-speaking world we increasingly mistrust and marginalise the outsider.
The Hobos and Bindlestiffs of the Great Depression, who traversed America nearly a hundred years ago, left an indelible mark on the landscape, music and culture of that country: migrant workers travelled across the USA for free, living out the back of train carriages, working the farms picking fruit and vegetables and building a new culture; a culture of the underclass through shared language and experience.
Today refugees and migrant workers find themselves caught in the same old systems across the UK, Europe and the Near East.
This piece uses the stories of the past as a lens to delve into the psychology of the modern migrant and displaced worker. It looks at how the idea has taken root in the psyche across western cultures, and the delicate balance between voluntary and involuntary displacement.
In Bindlestiff poetry and storytelling, live music and found sound, and a communal meal experience for the audience all combine, to create a piece that brings the audience directly into this world.
A piece for non-traditional or outdoor theatre spaces. It explores and re-frames the liminal spaces within communities and cities. It looks at the traveller as both outsider and as seer, and ties in to the ideas of the ancient travelling storyteller.
This project is in the early stages. WordSetFree are looking for venues and producers who want to work with us to develop the project for their audiences.
Alongside is a gallery of images that inspire the work.