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Framing Brexit: EU IDEA visual and video award

Wilhelm Gunkel / Unsplash
Wilhelm Gunkel / Unsplash

The "Framing Brexit: EU IDEA visual and video award“, aims to give the opportunity to young people to express through visual artworks how they are experiencing and interpreting the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

After decades of increasing integration among European countries, this is the first time that a country has opted to leave the EU. The UK’s departure, on 31 January 2020, marks an unprecedented twist in the history of European integration, with far reaching implicati- ons for the lives of millions of people and those of young generations in particular.

People between 18 and 30 years old were invited to illustrate through artistic creations what Brexit means for them. They sent us their videos, photos or any type of visual artworks representing how they are experi- encing and interpreting the departure of the UK from the EU.

The artistic creations could be accompanied by a short written text. Submissions for the award will be assessed by a jury composed of members of the EU IDEA research project and two professionals in the field of visual arts. The jury will nominate two winners, whose work will be widely diffused through all EU IDEA’s dissemination channels. Furthermore, the winners will take part in the final EU IDEA conference in Brussels in December 2021, where their work will be awarded.

Madeleina Kay's Artwork Statement:

My Brexiles portraits document the stories of 27 British citizens who have migrated from the UK (or chosen to remain living abroad) where Brexit was a key factor influencing their decision. The vividly coloured, cubist style portraits, represents their personal experiences and explores the resulting fragmentation and reconstruction of their identity. Through interview, we discussed how their sense of national identity had been affected by nationalism, migration, marriage, parenthood and being a member of the LGBTQ community, and determined which colours or colour-schemes could be used to symbolically represent these complex identities.

The artwork opens up a conversation about the conflict between British and European values, explores how these individual’s lived realities have been influenced by the morphing political landscape in the UK. Together, the 27 brightly coloured paintings create a sense of solidarity in their European identity, evoking the mood of the 27 EU nation flags flying alongside each other.

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Megan Daniels' and OlaMedzinska's Artwork Statement:

"Overheard" is an exploration of the complexion of human communication and its implications in the context of Brexit. How do we communicate if we are not willing to listen? Can two monologues constitute a dialogue? ‘Overheard’ doesn’t aim to give clear answers to the questions surrounding Brexit, but rather it aims to change the discourse, to ask new questions and start new conversations. The short film deliberately offers elements of ambiguity to encourage multiple interpretations and reflections on the (mis)communication between Brexit supporters and opponents/between the UK and the EU. Regardless of political views, ‘Overheard’ encourages reflection, but it also tells us that the story is not yet over, that there is hope for the future.

About the EU IDEA – Integration and Differentiation for Effectiveness and Accountability project: EU IDEA’s key goal is to address whether, how much and what form of differentiation is not only compatible with, but is also conducive to a more effective, cohesive and democratic EU. The basic claim of the project is that differentiation is not only necessary but also desirable.

Image copyright: Wilhelm Gunkel / Unsplash, Madeleina Kay