MINDSCAPES: While Waiting, Wait Here – Merel Smitt

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Mindscapes While Waiting, Wait Here
Image courtesy of Merel Smitt/SICK! Festival.

MINDSCAPES: While Waiting, Wait Here - Merel Smitt, online, 19 April 2021–16 May 2022, free entry - Visit now

Created as one of five brand-new commissions for MINDSCAPES, While Waiting, Wait Here is an interactive website that explores the benefits system and the process of applying for Universal Credit.

Designed to be explored online, While Waiting, Wait Here has been developed by Rotterdam-based artist Merel Smitt for MINDSCAPES. Smitt has created the piece as a response to the experiences and stories from staff and service users at Yes Manchester, a careers and training centre in North Manchester.

The work aims to capture the frustration that many people feel once they enter into the benefits system.

The work aims to capture the frustration that many people feel once they enter into the benefits system. The feeling of being stuck in a system; going around in circles; hitting dead ends and the feeling that you are being watched and judged. Often described as a dehumanising experience, While Waiting, Wait Here seeks to expose the systems, languages and policies on which Universal Credit is based. It also aims to open a dialogue around the benefits system: can anything in the process be changed to offer a more compassionate service?

Can anything in the process be changed to offer a more compassionate service?

Artist Merel Smitt is interested in those experiences which disrupt our daily lives. Her work is often research-based, immersive and takes place in public spaces. Always searching for new ways of looking at complex human issues, Smitt often collaborates with other creatives – performers, web developers and designers – and informs her work through conversations with experts, communities and support workers.

MINDSCAPES: While Waiting, Wait Here - Merel Smitt, online

19 April 2021–16 May 2022
Free entry

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