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. 

Before continuing the exploration of the 21st Century’s perception of Faith,

and the differing artists’ responses to the question, we will briefly define Faith

as we are using it:

Faith is not a word directly linked to theology or religious practices. It is a word used

to describe our investment in certain practices and actions, emotional and physical,

which shape our identities and lives.

Faith and Social Dynamics

During 21st Faith, a keen interest in researching the cultural aspects of Faith

was expressed by many participants. This gave a layer to the understanding of Faith

as a collective phenomenon. Faith, when exhibited within a collective, needs to be

organised, often with a set of myths, narratives, artefacts and rituals behind it. When

the organisation becomes easy to share and interpret, those collective Faiths can be

referred to as a ‘beliefs system’. The beliefs systems are behind many cultural habits.

Is it an independent choice to decide what to have Faith in? How is Faith shared?

How does Faith influence the social sphere?

What seems common in the social aspects of Faith is its desire to answer

the existential questions of why love, joy, pain and death exist, and to find solace

in the need of feeling loved and to belong. This section will investigate Faith

as a binding contract, Faith as common goals and ideals, and Faith as a way

for the individual to belong within the collective.

Faith unites societies; Faith creates collective bonds. Through collective stories,

different Faiths help to relate themselves to one and other, giving a sense of belonging

and importance to those who understand them within their communities. Faith links

people from differing social backgrounds by a common belief.

Yusta’s project explores the death memorials left in the secular city;

their ephemeral aspects filled with hope and unity crossing multicultural Faiths.

Those memorials are often for the humans, not for Gods. The existential question

of death humans have asked about for thousands of years have not yet disappeared

and Yusta highlights their possibilities. See 6 , p. 46-49.

How can faith make sense of these existential questions? Can faith be the binding

link of communities?

The collective understanding of those existential questions relating to love, purpose

and death will help create new societies for the 21st century.

Faith is shared; Faith expresses itself through common goals and ideals. Faith

creates connections between communities and individuals, but how? Different

Faiths, at their core, are often similarly comprised of people who want to be heard.

Rituals, organised meetings and the re-telling of stories illustrate how Faith can

be used to connect people.

Through the investigation of rituals surrounding Christmas, Kelly highlights the

influence of food within the relationships of the individual to families and communities.

Food becomes a shared ritual. Kelly questions the role of the cook, the ingredients

and the presentation of such rituals. How does one respond to artefacts of tradition,

as opposed to tradition itself? See 22 , p. 84-85.

What is the outlet of Faith? How is Faith materially shared within closed

relationships? How is Faith materially shared to the broader communities?

By sharing rituals with the collective, individuals connect to one another

and develops identities.