LDB Sessions

The SIM Project

23 Jun 2023 15:00 - 17:00 Somerset House

The smartphone SIM card is a universal tool and symbol of connection. The SIM Project uses this small object of communication as a platform to shape new ways of sharing, valuing and archiving stories of migration. In the workshop participants will create unique glass and metal artworks in a process which combines personal screenshots, 19th century photographic techniques and jewellery making. 

The SIM Project is inspired by and continues to evolve through conversation and craft with refugees and others affected by displacement. Workshops are central to the project where participants select an image that represents the way that SIM cards connect them to friends, family, places and memories, which is optically transferred as a screenshot from their phone onto a sim-scale glass model. The piece is developed in a mini dark room process, which disrupts the automatised nature of the smartphone and renders each artwork unique. In turn, metal frames etched with QR codes are polished and stamped with ID numbers of personal significance. Each participant makes one artwork to add to the touring collection and another to keep and wear. In this way the project becomes a living, moving exhibition.

The SIM artworks tell stories and ask questions about notions of home, identity and how people relate to each other through digital devices. To date artworks have been created with over 170 participants from countries including Afghanistan, Syria, Turkey, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Senegal and Libya at workshops held in the UK, Greece, Finland, Cyprus and Italy.

The SIM Project: Liz Hingley 
King’s College London: Leonie Ansems De Vries
Centre for Print Research, UWE: Frank Menger

The two workshops held during refugee week are solely for invited participants living in London who have experience of displacement, as well as those who are working within support systems for refugees and asylum seekers.

Learn more about The SIM Project.