Bring us your Arms!
Dacci una mano!
Audience led research into industrial
towns in Yorkshire and Northern Italy
Your Arms! project intends to gather and share information
from people affected by these industrial issues with the hope that
the collective knowledge and experience will both aid our understanding
of our past and present situations and prepare for the impending change
in how we work. It is of little surprise to find that the social development
of “textile towns” in Yorkshire and Italy bear many similarities
and parallels to one another. These parallels can become something
of practical use to communities affected by the increasing mechanization
of processes, and the resulting centralization of manufacture to areas
with cheaper labour costs.
In this first phase of Your Arms! project
Andy Abbott and Yvonne Carmichael have spent the 4 months of the Unidee
residency finding parallels between Yorkshire, Biella and the surrounding
area. This has led to interesting discoveries about shared machinery
and architecture, paternalism in the textiles industry, model worker’s
villages and overseas competition. Abbott and Carmichael have also
focused on researching features that distinguish the Yorkshire and
Biellese people, including unique local produce, artisan workers and
local customs and games that help to present a truer picture of day
to day life in these areas.
The most important method of research relies on the input and interaction
of the Yorkshire and Biellese community through interviews and questionnaires.
An “interactive survey machine” has been designed to encourage
Biellese/Italian people to contribute to the project through anecdotes
With the information gathered from this phase Your Arms!
intend to increase the number of towns linked in the project and the
depth and extent of these potential international relationships.