The Lemonaid Response Unit comes from a collaboration between myself artist (Victoria Melody) and the Metropolitan Police. It was commissioned through Battersea Art Centre through their Agents of Creative Change program. The idea behind the program is that people who work in the public sector come to artists with a challenge and the artist helps them come up with a creative solution. My police officer came to me with the problem – everybody hates the police. So just a small problem then. Obviously, I could not solve this ingrained issue but I could invite conversation in a controlled environment. The public are invited to share a glass of lemonade with the Police Officer in exchange for a question. If the police live in fear of the public and visa versa what can happen if they meet informally outside of the station and engage in one and one conversation. Can opinions change when stereotypes are broken down on both sides of the conversation?
The LemonAID Response Unit is a simple idea with radical intentions to break the cycle of stereotypes and create social capital between the police, young people and the community. I like that it’s really fun yet has the capacity to change how people think.
It will be performed in various locations in Summer 2021.