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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Emotional Archive is an art and research project that explores portraiture through emotional psychology. The artist Philip Lee, a studio-holder at Sheffield S1 Artspace, initiated it in 2016 and since then has been working with others to create an archive of emotional experiences. He recently partnered with Our Bodies Our Streets, a Sheffield campaign group that aims to raise awareness of street harassment, and the results of their collaboration are on display in an online exhibition now.

Philip explores traditional and non-traditional portraiture in his art. With this project he’s created a format for an individual to create their own Emotional Portrait centred around a specific event in their life. The portrait takes the form of a chart, with date and time at the centre, a title and description of the experience, and markings of how much or how little the person experienced each of 170 different emotions on a scale from zero to five.

Our Bodies Our Streets is a campaign founded by students in Sheffield, aiming to tackle the issue of catcalling and street harassment. The group has been mapping catcalling incidents experienced by its supporters. For this collaboration, they distributed Philip’s emotional charts for participants to fill in anonymously, to document the experience of harassment from the targets’ perspectives.

The campaigners and Philip pasted the charts in the locations where the incidents happened. Their online exhibition features photos of these charts in their locations, as well as digitised versions. The exhibition validates emotional experiences in all their complexity, and will hopefully encourage changes in thinking and more openness towards emotional communication.

View the Emotional Archive: Our Bodies Our Streets exhibition.

Contains explicit language around harassment.

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