21st Faith


We are a collaborative research project, investigating and questioning faith as a human feeling. 

This publication presents 32 creative projects created for an exhibition in October 2017 at The Workshop, Lambeth. 

Faith for the 21st Century

The 21st Faith projects researched Faith as understood by its etymological viewpoint

(‘Fides’, defined as ‘to command, to persuade, to trust). This led most of the participants

to view Faith as a feeling. Therefore, from an etymological point of view, one could

be expected to question their emotions on questions of faith: where could one be

persuaded? Where does one feel commanded? Where could one find trust?

If Faith relies on emotions, then Faith may be first instinctively interpreted

individually through an emotional level. To understand Faith for the 21st Century,

one may investigate the influence of Faith on the individual. What does Faith inspire?

What does Faith bring? This paper will argue that, in the 21st Century, Faith drives

actions; Faith becomes identity, and Faith can evolve into truth.

Faith defines actions; Faith drives actions. This theme is a key finding of our project.

Feeling the raw power of Faith in the everyday, in purpose and desire, was investigated

several times during 21st Faith with one project using it as its main concept.

Alexandra and Theodore’s thought-provoking piece asked the question: ‘How

significant is Faith’s drive to motivate us in our work?’ Together, they used the brief

to test their own Faith in the creative process. They used it to challenge their practice,

focused on time and surface. See 21 , p. 80-83.

What are the motivations behind actions? Do beliefs define the individual? How

much can one achieve with the support of Faith?

Faith can be harnessed to reach goals, going further than the expectations

anticipated and help the individual and/or collective to have faith the action has


Faith merges with identity; Faith can be heard as a call from within. The relation of faith

to identity highlights how Faith can give courage and drive. Faith can be derived from

an identity, as identity can be derived from Faith. However, with a new generation

of people facing a faith-less pursuit of false identities in the 21st Century, how can we

be sure of Faith’s significance, and indeed its existence, in a new world of identities.

Kevin questioned his own Faith in the anime culture and what the myths

and narratives of anime brought him. Anime is considered a source of inspiration

to Kevin, becoming a driving force to face his fears, to believe in the unbelievable,

and to move forward at any costs. In this sense, Kevin found Faith within an identity;

he felt an emotive response from a cultural set of values and used those values of said

identity to motivate him in everyday life. See 7 , p. 50-51.

Which identity can you create a bond with? How can Faith lay the path to a fulfilled

identity? How can Faith help the identity grow?

Myths, if understood as a collective knowledge stored in stories, help to guide the

individual in understanding their position in life.

Faith becomes truth; Faith as a moral compass. If what an individual believes in has

the power to create the reality in which they experience the world, then Faith creates

a bond between the person and their way of making meaning out of the world. To

change the myth is to change the reality, because reality is malleable through stories.

Grace’s piece investigates ancient knowledge to find the truth she feels,

understanding faith as plural to invite compassion, especially in the women’s bodies.

Ancient knowledge of the body can be merged with current views, adapted to fit

today’s narrative, so as to embrace the past to reshape the future. See 1 , p. 36-37.

What knowledge do you choose to believe in? What defines right and wrong?

Does knowledge shape reality?

If Faith becomes knowledge, then Faith shapes the world surrounding

the individual.