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FONDS: New multimedia exhibition tells the stories of Govanhill through its most treasured objects

The objects treasured by people in Govanhill reveal stories of migration, transformation, love and resilience. A new photography exhibition, film and podcast will launch on 3 February.

FONDS images on display at Tramway
FONDS images on display at Tramway

FONDS, a new photography exhibition, podcast and film will open in our new exhibition space at Tramway arts centre from 3 February – 31 March inviting listeners to embark on a captivating journey through the lives of the residents of Govanhill.

This is the first exhibition in the new Greater Govanhill Community Canvas space, which Tramway have made Greater Govanhill community magazine guardians of. Speaking about the collaboration, founder and editor of Greater Govanhill community magazine, Rhiannon J Davies, said:

“We’re delighted that Tramway has allowed us to use this space to showcase these community stories locally. The photographs elevate these treasures into something other worldly, while the podcast takes the listener right into that space. It’s been a privilege to hear and share these stories.”

Told through photography and in the participants’ own words, FONDS is a project about how the evocative objects we keep connect us to the people and places we love. 

Some of the objects included in the collection include a glass fish, a box of spells, a wooden boat, a sticking plaster, and a teddy bear. From Pakistan to Syria, Turkey to Hong Kong the objects featured represent stories of migration, transformation, love, and resilience. 

FONDS was created in 2022 by Morwenna Kearsley, who worked on this project during a two year community based residency with Street Level Photoworks as part of their Culture Collective programme. It was developed in partnership with us at Greater Govanhill community magazine and Thriving Govanhill. In 2022, the images were shown in shop windows as an outdoor exhibition around the neighbourhood. Read more about Part I here.

Speaking about the project, photographer Morwenna Kearsely said: 

“Making the images for FONDS has been a labour of love. It’s been such an honour and a privilege to photograph such cherished possessions, and to think about, through objects, the collective feelings and emotions that bind us together as humans.”

In 2024, in addition to a new series of photographs, we introduce the FONDS podcast series, produced by Flora Zajicek. Each episode unfolds over eight minutes, the time it takes for Morwenna to photograph the object in complete darkness with an innovative technique using a long exposure and moving torchlight. 

Subscribe to FONDS wherever you get your podcasts.

Weaving together the threads of personal history, cultural heritage, and community spirit, this 10 part series will bring you into the studio to sit and listen to the story of each object as told by its keeper.

Podcast producer Flora Zajicek said:

“It has been an honour to be entrusted with peoples’ stories for FONDS. These are the stories that don’t always get listened to, they are the stories of your neighbour, or that person you pass in the street everyday, but given a spotlight and the platform they deserve. Interviewing people in the dark creates a really special atmosphere which translates to intimacy of what you hear in the podcast. It’s been an absolute privilege to work with all the participants and get to bring the sound worlds of these stories to life.”

This is the first exhibition in a new space at Tramway. Speaking about the partnership, Senior Manager of Tramway, Jenny Crowe said:

“Tramway is delighted to be hosting FONDS as part of our new partnership with Greater Govanhill. Whilst our outlook and programme at Tramway is international, it’s essential we are rooted in our south-side location; working with Greater Govanhill helps us to explore stories impacting communities around the world whilst remaining resolutely focussed on the local. FONDS is a touching and beautifully tender project weaving stories from across the globe whilst reminding us of the hopes, dreams and sometimes longing that personal objects can evoke.”