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International Day Readings

Cally Trench and Philip Lee performed International Day Readings at the Tetley, Leeds on 5th March 2017, during PAGES Leeds - International Contemporary Artists' Book Fair, and at the Bristol Artists Book Event (BABE) at the Arnolfini, Bristol on 2nd April 2017.

Cally, in the role of a teacher, dressed in robes and garlanded with mistletoe, read extracts from the Collins Wide World Reader (of c. 1905) in order to discover more about the character of Europeans, including the English, while Philip took on the role of a human visual aid and personified the different countries described.

The performance extends Cally and Philip's investigation into national stereotypes in their book International Day. At Cally's English primary school, in the early 1960s, there was an annual 'International Day', when children dressed up in a mish-mash of national costumes. Cally Trench and Philip Lee re-created 'International Day' in their book; readers are invited to identify the eight European countries they depict, so becoming complicit in the stereotypes. International Day is part of AMBruno's [sic] collection of artists' books.

International Day and International Day Readings arise out of Cally and Philip's distrust of stereotypes; they reveal the reductive effects of stereotypes, but in a comedic manner.

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