Hellen Songa is an independently-educated Visual Journalist with a Zambian and Rwandan ethnobackground based in Liverpool, England.
With a focus on the relationship between civilians and the powers that be, Songa seeks to further explore social themes pertaining to natural law, equity, and freedom, as well as ideas related to community and tribal organising.
Their work has been published locally in Rooted Zine, The Open Eye Gallery, and the Baltic Triangle.
This is a project that developed overwhelmingly spontaneously. I moved into Aigburth in Liverpool as a lodger, and a week later I met my landlady’s husband, Marc. Naturally, he began to give me insight into the 5 year-long independent study of Law, and how his study perfectly correlates to contemporary social tensions and disagreements between civilians and governing bodies, and uniformed authority. This led to Marc cautioning police officers at Merseyside Police Station, which you’ll see that I bore witness to. Later he, Glyn and I traveled down to London to passively observe the reoccurring freedom protests, also bearing witness to an arrest, which has transpired into a court case. Now, the Peacekeepers.
The core purpose of the Peacekeepers, as emphasised by the three founders, Marc Horn, Glyn Prendergast, and Victoria Archer, is to uphold the rule of law by teaching people their rights with no charge, therefore empowering people to protect themselves from unlawful governance and injustices. This can mean using one’s lawful right to witness and question any dispute between civilians and those in uniform, use videography or photography equipment to collect any evidence that may be used by both civilians and police officers in the court of law, engage in respectful and cooperative dialogue with both civilians and officers of the law, and remind all people their lawful obligation to uphold the people’s peace, especially those paid by the people after swearing an oath to them.
The work that I am presenting for this exhibition tells you the story of parts of my visual observations. However, in developing this project, I realised that it is important for me to incorporate all narratives of an ever-increasingly unexpected story. That is what I will be up to next if you wish to follow the story. This is an ever-growing story. For now, incomplete.
This is not an opinion piece. This is an observation. The judgments, contemplations, and passions that may arise for you, whether in agreeance with the subjects in focus or in opposition, are neither right nor wrong. This is also a story about devotion to a cause that may not be complimentary with the current common commentary.
You may already have ideas of the story that the subjects are attempting to tell. Bring your ideas. The only rule is that you submit them with an open mind because to hear the other side of the narrative may feel strange, it may feel dangerous or taboo. In the reverse, for some, it may come as a relief. Whatever your case may be, come. Observe. Digest. Decide.
Check out more of Hellen’s work on her personal website; https://hellensonga.co.uk/
Check out the artist who is currently featured in our 3D art gallery: