“Want a free cake? Earn it!”


(Rim Petros, Friday 3rd May 2013, Great Central Library)

My previous blog entry It’s an Experience discussed the idea of giving customers a different experience depending on their class position. The Middle Class would be treated to sit down and enjoy a warm drink and a cake of their choice. Customers categorised as the Working Classes would be asked to complete a task.

We had many discussions about what the task could be? We wanted a task that would signify working labour  From looking at the time line of the transitional change of the library’s building, labour and trade has dominated the building’s past. First opening in 1907 as a Central Grain Warehouse and in 1967 a builder’s merchants took residency. So we thought it would be effective if the task represented manual labour.

As a group we have already decided to incorporate grain into the cafe (see blog – The Grain Escape and the Socio-political message) [To use grain to reflect library statistics]but on reflection we thought it would be more effective we asked the library users to count the grain themselves rather than walking into the cafe and the grain counted out already. We thought it would have a bigger impact because of the physicalailty of the task.

Previously we have collected many interesting statistics about the library. Did you know, 3000 people a day visit the University of Lincoln’s Great Central Library? We thought that we could count 3000 grains throughout the day to represent this statistic. We would also be saying that each Grain represents a library user. This Reverts back to the core meaning of a cafe in the library, bringing all the library users together. This supports Majorie Mayo’s notion that through “participation in drama , provides a welcome alternative to top-down forms of devlopment because it is orientated towards faciliating the particpant’s vision of social change.”(p.77, 2010)So, by making the working class library users participate in a task we can also discuss the issue of the difference between social classes.

The task : To move an x amount of grain from the scales (A) to the tin (B) in a short amount of time. We also wanted to add an element of fun by using tweezers to move per grain.
Tin was used to collect the grain as this symbolises manufacturing.

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(Both pictures taken by Naomi Shaw, Friday 3rd May 2013, The Great Central Library)

Govan Emma, Nicholsan Helen and Normington Katie, Making A Performance , Devising Histories and Comtemporary Practices , Routeledge (2010)

Word count: 400

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