Conversations, Craft & Movement

A SIM card is many things. An international ID card held within our smartphones, a repository of personal data, and a tool for intimate connection. They have a symbolic meaning too. They provide a bridge to transnational, as well as local networks to give us a portable sense of belonging. 

This project uses the SIM card as a platform to shape new ways of sharing and archiving stories of migration. It is inspired by conversation and craft with refugees and people who are seeking sanctuary. The growing mobile collection includes over 150 unique artefacts created at free workshops in 8 countries. Participants make a screenshot from the image archive on their phone, which is transferred onto a sim-scale glass model. In turn, metal frames are etched, polished and stamped with ID numbers of personal significance.

The wearable SIM artworks tell stories and ask questions about notions of home, identity and how people relate to each other through digital devices. 

‘As an immigrant, I don’t really have roots, I have tendrils, which stretch to different places in the world where there are people I love’

Argentinian project artist, Cyprus, 2022

News & Events

Workshop

Art Mapping Connections, CURVE

Kairos Europe training, Spain, November 2023

Workshop

The SIM Project Workshops, Martin Parr Foundation

UK, October 2023

Exhibition

The SIM Mobile, BOP Festival 2023

Paintworks, UK, October 2023

Create One, Give One

Design your personal SIM artwork, order and contribute.

Curious about the hybrid process? Make your piece in a workshop. 

Find out more

The Story

The project was inspired by collaboration with Syrians on a resettlement programme in Coventry, a UK city of sanctuary. Their SIM artworks were added to the city's museum collection in 2017. 

Through this process, SIM cards emerged as “keys” for unlocking ‘smartphone suitcases,’ which open up channels to loved ones, provide a sense of independence as well as home. See the first chapter of the project here.

‘When I first arrived my SIM card from Jordan stopped working and I felt out of touch with the world. When I got a UK SIM card I began to feel part of this country...The periods of connection were like windows onto a new life between here, and family and friends not here.’

Syrian solicitor, Coventry, 2018
The SIM Project Logo
Memories
in Motion