St George’s Church, Ivychurch
Kathrin Böhm is an artist whose work is defined by its collaborative nature and commitment to the public realm. Böhm is based in London and Höfen in southern Germany.
Kathrin Bohm, Company – Movements, Deals and Drinks, Hop-picking in Kent, photo courtesy of Maureen Hostler, Dagenham – a new film by Kathrin Böhm in collaboration with Sue Giovanni, the latest stage of her ongoing Company: Movements, Deals and Drinks project.
The film offers an insight into the culture and economics of ‘going picking’, bringing together former hop pickers ‘who went down to Kent’ from East London and today’s pickers who come there and are both key to British agricultural success. They share the experience of being so-called foreigners in the Kent countryside: East Londoners and current ‘foreigners’, often EU citizens from eastern Europe, who come to Kent as seasonal agricultural workers. Both groups of pickers are and have been essential to British agriculture, providing the en masse low-cost manual labour necessary to pick certain crops and fruits. Furthermore, both have developed their own cultures around being seasonal and casual workers on low income, from adapting mobile or low-spec accommodation, securing cheap travel, inventing free spare time activities, to socializing away from home.
Hop-picking in Kent, photo courtesy of Maureen Hostler, Dagenham