Searching for Community Project

Connecting adults aged 18-80+ through drama, art and photography.

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Searching for Community

Our latest community project which ran between February to early April 2023, brought together adults aged 18-80+. These exciting workshops took place at Magic Me’s base on Pott Street, Bethnal Green.

Led by theatre-maker Sue Mayo and photographer Anita McKenzie, the group produced a series of photographs inspired by the theme of community. We teamed up 3 groups of younger and older adults over the course of 6 weeks where they explored what they felt was missing from communities. Working in groups, their task was to collectively decorate a chair representing what was missing from their community.

We would like to thank all those who were involved including the Magic Me staff, artists, participants, trustees and our lovely guests who attended this year’s spring sharing event. The collaborative work created by our participants from both the younger and older generation has been absolutely phenomenal, showing us just what our local community are capable of!

Below are the final photographs that were exhibited here at Pott Street on the 4th of April, captured by photographer, Anita McKenzie:







About the Photos (in order of appearance):

Lean on Me: A Chain of Helping Hands

By: Devika, Laura D, Olivia, Suzie, Mel

We wanted bright colours of love to represent care. We were drawn to a simple style for the image, as community is crafted by local people. We wanted to show a chain of hands connecting, and also include the image of a plant growing up from the ground – a grassroots community. The two ideas merged into a flower of hands sprouting up the leg of a chair.

What’s missing in community is the access to support: breaks in the chain. So, we positioned the hands just out of reach of the chain.

Isolation, Neglect 

By: Geoffrey, Amarjit, Etracy, Sarah, Georgina

We stared at our community and saw isolation and neglect. We know we must love and include everyone for the community to flourish, but beware, it’s far from easy. A thriving community is the result of hard work and collaboration. A happy community is about inclusion and hard work.

Caring Takes Effort

By: Heather, Laura B, Winnie, Eliza, Riz, Felicia, Jinny

We agreed that love is important for building a community, but that it is very complex. Love can be demonstrated in many different ways – we explored these and decided that it is the effort of showing that you care that brings people, and broken communities, back together.

Quotes from Participants:

“Community is never finished. It is always evolving. Community is all about communication, negotiation. These representations show what ‘Searching for Community’ means.” – Younger participant

“We all managed to come together. Community is about you, me, everyone, bright colours not darkness.”- Older participant

“I’m lost for words, it’s fantastic. It’s such a good idea, all coming together as one.”- Older participant