DATE:                    FROM 10.30 AM MONDAY 19TH APRIL 2021 ONWARDS

TIME:                     ANY TIME


Accessing Universal Credit is a frustrating, dehumanising experience that can feel like you’re part of a terrible game.

While Waiting, Wait Here is an interactive website to be explored online which represents the experience of being stuck in a system, going around in circles, hitting dead ends and being constantly watched into a game.

Developed by artist Merel Smitt, based on the stories of staff and service users at Yes Manchester, While Waiting, Wait Here has taken the reality of lives kept on hold and powerless to expose the systems, language and policies on which Universal Credit is based, to open the conversation if they can be changed into a more human and humane experience.

Merel Smitt is a Rotterdam-based artist interested in creating experiences which interfere with our daily lives. Because her work is research based, often immersive and in public spaces, audiences become part of it whether they know it or not.

She collaborates with other creative people – performers, web developers, designers and informs her work through conversations with communities, activity, social workers and experts to create new, refreshing ways of looking at sometimes complex issues.

MINDSCAPES Artists in Conversation: Merel Smitt

While Waiting, Wait Here is an artistic project by Merel Smitt in collaboration with Ariane Gros (dramaturg), Maisa Imamović (web design & development) and Maaike Canne (illustration)

Made possible by contributions of: Sarah Marie Hall (University of Manchester), Rebecca Lawthorn (MMU), Cheetham Hill Job Centre, Kirsty Pearce (Yes Manchester), Stephen Ohagan (Yes Manchester), Dr Sarah Marie Hall (UoM), Rebecca Lawthorn (MMU), Collete Carol (HNP/Welcome Centre), Marysia Bocquet (Welcome Centre), Lucie Zorzopian (participant), Melanie Smith (participant) Lara Piercy (experience with UC), Marian Brown (participant) and Rizwan (participant)

With special thanks to: Evie Manning (Commonwealth), Richard Gregory (Quarantine), Chelsea Murphy (MMU) and Gabrielle Ivinson (MMU)

Yes Manchester

Cheetham Hill Welcome Centre