The Showroom

Singer Bumi Thomas presents Border Native, a live music performance


Singer Bumi Thomas presents Border Native, a special live music performance.


There is very little documented about Border Natives (people born in the UK/ any other country but not automatically considered citizens). This series encourages people to speak out and ask questions about the complexities they are facing as they experience the immigration process. It is an opportunity to define this grey area, highlight evolving identities, cultural liminality and transformation. To raise awareness and have an open dialogue about the current intergenerational challenges UK born commonwealth citizens and descendant of the Windrush generation and Europeans are currently face as a direct result of the hostile environment policy.

The following themes are explored:
- Evolving Identity
- Collective Memory
- The power of the archive
- Lived Experience + the importance of peer to peer sharing
- Proactive kindness
- Accessing community + support networks

A ‘Border Native’ is a term referring to children of Citizens of the Commonwealth Born in the UK on or after January 1st 1983. subject to the enforcement of the British Nationality Act 1981. which states that children born to parents from the former colonies were no longer entitled to automatic citizenship.

  • Why wasn't the public properly informed of these changes at time?
  • Why are there people in Britain today who are still unaware?
  • How do we bridge the information gap?
  • Why are people born in the UK after 1983 are being treated like refugees in their country of birth?
  • What hope is there for more humane changes to hostile environment Policy

Interdisciplinary Dialogue:
- The challenges of Integration
- The consequences of displacement
- Community building
- Support systems
- Mental Health and releasing trauma
- Healing and transformation
- Understanding the Migrations landscape
- Raise ethical standards
- Ensuring that safeguarding at the heart of the solution
- Support more people
- Challenge public attitudes
- Reshaping policy
- Understanding Human Rights
- Justice and the importance of experienced legal representation

The 'Border Natives' Concept + Experience is curated and conceived by Bumi Thomas

Image: Bumi Thomas. Courtesy of Prada


Bumi Thomas is a dynamic contemporary African, acoustic Jazz-folk-soul singer songwriter whose style is inspired by her multicultural heritage. To enjoy Bumi's music is to experience a mix of sound that combines jazz, high life rhythms, Afro-beat, reggae and blues melodies, infused with folk and delivered with soul. A sound rich in texture and stimulating lyrics. Born in Glasgow, and raised between the tranquillity of a Nomadic desert town and the colourful excitement of Lagos in Nigeria; Bumi is now based in London after completing a degree in Fine Art Media & Visual Communication. Her music represents the journey of a modern African creative in the U.K.

This programme takes place within Theaster Gates's installation Black Image Corporation presented by Prada, The Vinyl Factory, and The Showroom. Collective Intimacy is inspired by Gates’s ethos of collaboration and The Showroom’s commitment to togetherness and communal knowledge, taking on multiple trans-located narratives of the current Black experience as a point of departure for a cosmopolitan worldview. In response to Gates’s reactivated spaces in Chicago and how his socially engaged projects enable communities to connect and grow, Collective Intimacy aims to create a new space for people to gather, listen, converse, and contemplate amongst a fusion of art, design, music, and everyday life.

Black Image Corporation presents distinct spaces creating a myriad of possibilities for collective engagements, featuring an installation of Gates’s art objects, furnishings, and new films that capture the methodologies of urban renewal and community activation founding his practice. Pieces from Chicago imbued with powerful histories, uses, and localities resonate with distinctive lounge design from here in London – like a love letter between two cities, under the roof of a new House. Taking place at both 180 The Strand and The Showroom, Collective Intimacy hosts interdisciplinary interventions by artists, musicians, designers, writers, thinkers, collectives and members of the public, who are all invited to distort notions of selfhood and togetherness in the spirit of creating a global community.

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