Freedom of expression - New exhibition at gallery@oxo London | 10-14 April

A powerful new exhibition that uncovers the mystery, pain, anger and stories of forgotten police cells in the historic city of Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Running for a week on London's SouthBank at the Oxo Tower Gallery, 10th - 14th April.

Freedom of Expression is a collection of work from celebrated South African photographer, Karl Schoemaker. Schoemaker has captured the long abandoned Baakens Police Station which is nestled behind the sleepy-harbour city’s City Hall, to share its history and stories with the world.

Schoemaker captured the images alone across three-months, mindful to never spend more than three hours in the cells, afraid of becoming desensitised to the enormity of the history recorded on the walls: “The place was dark and dank, and to shoot the cells properly, I always closed the heavy cell doors which gave me the feeling of being trapped. An insight into what the captured felt. At other times I would go down and simply read the stories scratched into the walls, not photographing anything. But sitting with their energy, imagining the emotions they felt.”

The exhibition is supported by The Linbury Trust and produced by the Moving Assembly Project, a not for profit which connects people, artists and students from diverse global backgrounds and communities through the arts. Co-curator of the exhibition and Artistic Director of Moving Assembly, Dane Hurst, says: “The historical context of these images and the trauma they hold is only a small element of what South Africa endured. They sit beside images that capture the lives of South Africa’s youth and the freedom they have to express their experience of the world.  Working with young people and empowering them has such a profound effect on our collective futures. Seeing the positive outcomes of this work says so much about the nature of hope, perseverance and the power of the artist in the community.”

The exhibition will also feature poetry by London poet LyricL Nkechi and photography from Moving Assembly Project students who have taken part in workshops in South Africa under the tutelage of Schoemaker.

There will be a panel discussion on ‘The Power of the Artist in the Community’ on Saturday 13 April @ 3-5pm
To Book:

tEACHING AND Performance Project 2018


Teaching is at the heart of what we do and thanks to your support, we have always been able to offer our programme at no cost to the student. Last year we introduced and offered our first photography workshops led by Karl Schoemaker alongside our regular dance programme. We worked with  over 100 students in Port Elizabeth, at the Ithuba Community College in Port Edward and at the LIV Village in Durban. The workshops were facilitated by our MAP team and the images were taken by our students on disposable cameras based on the theme 'Who Are you?' This year we continued the photography programme alongside our dance workshops that took place at the St Thomas High School and the Ubuntu Pathways. The team worked towards creating a curtain raiser performance for 74 youth who performed alongside our MAP team in collaboration with Nelson Mandela University on the PE Opera House stage. Most of the students were entering and performing in the theatre for the very first time. This was a very special experience for the student, parents and members of the community who saw the youth expressing their individuality on stage; a contrast to knowing where they come from and seeing them in a very different, radiant light. 

We now have a very strong visual archive from the very many different perspectives and life situations of many of our students which allows us to have a deeper understanding of who it is that we are working with and what it is that we are offering within the context of their environment. Now after completing our third and most ambitious project to date, we are ready to fully share with you the impact of this work on the students. We are in the process of working towards showing all these photos and filmed documentary footage of our collective work thus far and look forward to finally hosting a celebratory event at the Africa Centre in London towards the end of 2018.


Moving assembly project launch at the Africa centre

tEACHING AND Performance Project 2017

TEACHING and PERFORMANCE is our MAP focus and we aim to work with as many young or old students as possible. In 2016 we worked with approximately 80 students and in 2017 we opened our project up to the wider community and offered dance and photography classes to 200 students at St Thomas High School in Port Elizabeth, LIV Village Orphanage in Durban and the Ithuba Community College in Port Edward leading to the creation of new  choreography that students and professionals performed to members of the community at the end of the workshops and at the National Arts Festival.

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Photography Project 2017

MAP delivered its first photography workshop at the St Thomas Senior Secondary School in Gelvandale, Port Elizabeth. Karl Schoemaker was leading lecturer and the workshops which spanned over 2 weeks resulted in the creation of some fantastic images based on the theme of WHO ARE YOU?

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Outreach trip To brazil with KT/novo tiempo 2017

live village project 2017

MAP are looking forward to working with LIV Village in 2017 and will be delivering professional Masterclasses in other parts of South Africa. More news to follow...

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MAP delivered an intensive 2 week training and choreography programme, working with 60 untrained dance students at the Ubuntu Education Fund in Zwide, Port Elizabeth.

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Amaphiko township dance project

MAP delivered an intensive 1 week programme leading to an informal sharing of choreography, working with students of the Amaphiko Township Dance Project in Grahamstown, South Africa.

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Artistic Director, Dane Hurst was invited to lead a 1 week choreographic workshop at the Cape Academy of Performing Art in Cape Town, South Africa, 2015.

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Artistic Director, Mark Hawkins invited Dane Hurst to lead a 1 week choreographic workshop leading to an informal sharing in Johannesburg, 2015 and MAP are looking forward to building a partnership with MIDM in future.

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Dane Hurst visited Flatfoot Dance Company's Artistic Director, Lliane Loots, in Durban and delivered a 1 day intensive dance workshop with students from her training programme and members of her company. MAP are looking forward to building a partnership with Flatfoot in future.

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container studios

MAP are excited to be in talks with American Architect, Adam Kalkin, to design a creative arts centre using shipping containers. 

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