July 2014, I spent 3 weeks in Pendle, a region in the north of England. While there I collaborated with UK-based arts organization, In-Situ.
Pendle, where In-Situ is based, is home to several closed cotton mills that will potentially be renovated in the future for commercial and place-making ventures. The video below is an attempt to capture the experience of Pendle – the vast rural landscapes, large Muslim population, and post-industrial social debris and renewal. With this movement piece, I also wanted to contend with my African American Southern heritage which involves harvesting cotton from slave labor and through share-cropping just two generations ago. The result brings into play a global web of movement based on commerce and folk music dedicated to labor. The video features song lyrics from Hedy West’s “Cotton Mill Girl”, Buffy Saint Marie’s “Little Wheel Spin and Spin”, and Leadbelly’s “Pick a Bale of Cotton”.