Submitted by harwood on Tue, 2006-07-04 15:22.
The MediaShed was set up by members of Mongrel.
The Mongrel web site is at www.mongrel.org.uk
Mongrel is an internationally recognised artists group specialising in digital media. We have an international reputation for our pioneering arts projects, including the first on-line commission from the Tate Gallery London and work in the permanent collections of the Pompidou Centre Paris and the Centre for Media Arts in Karlsruhe (ZKM). Combined with this we usually work with marginalised peoples who are on low incomes, socially excluded and cultural minorities. We do this buy helping people to do things for themselves, creating community software and digital arts based projects that we then promote to a state of high visibility through our international network of arts connections. The groups gain a visible voice, self reliance, self confidence and informal training allowing them to get a foot hold into mainstream training, education, culture and the economic life most of us take for granted. We currently have projects running with the Congolese community in London, the Container Project in Jamaica and have helped many groups in South African Townships, the Sarai Centre in New Delhi, the Suriname community of Amsterdam and many others.
Southend-on-Sea is one of the most populous towns or cities in the Eastern region. In the next few years a new container port “Shell Haven” will be built in the area which is estimated to create 16,000 new jobs. Organisations like The East of England Development Agency has a policy on supporting ‘Creative Industries’ in this area, as do agencies such as Thames Gateway South Essex Partnership. Southend is in a good position with easy access to London resources and audiences yet without the metropolitan overheads. In 2002 two founding members of Mongrel settled in Leigh-on-Sea and set up a studio space in Southend. There they started to create local small scale projects and to help to understand the local context and to plan their future involvement in the area. This puts Mongrel in the midst of an increasingly mobile community, a commuter population that understands the relevance of networking through their daily experiences and should be more responsive to this field of work.