For those born in the UK, British identity is a loose and changeable concept. For those seeking citizenship from abroad, however, it’s the opposite: subject to the government’s “Life in the UK” test, there are fixed, itemised cornerstones — as decided by the immigration authorities — which are deemed critical for fitting into British society.
In British Enough?, Kristina Cranfeld works with John and Lucy Harrigan of Foolish People theatre company to propose an extreme, future manifestation of this test. Built around Kristina’s video installation, Manufactured Britishness (previously seen at Ort Gallery), it’s a site-specific, immersive piece of theatre. The audience are invited to move through different assessment centres, where they participate in various, often bizarre, demonstrations of British values.
Together, the two strands of this project serve to inspect the idea of “becoming” British. Introducing the audience to the surreal process behind that idea, it exposes the values underlying it all. What’s more, it poses the question — who are the political figures making the important final decision, and why?
Kristina’s work, presented through films, installations and photographs, is concerned with transition and human identity. The Foolish People company, founded by John Hannigan in 1989, is an early innovator for immersive and ritual theatre.
UK Artist Development Programme, supported by