LINES: Making Friends; Crossing Borders launched in 2023 at The Bloc, Queen Mary University of London. The exhibition explored the politics of twinning, looking at the ways that translocal constellations of friends have come together to press for social change across a range of issue areas and global challenges.

Over the course of a four-year research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, exhibition curator Dr Holly Eva Ryan examined the ways that the practice of twinning has featured in struggles to intervene, challenge and change the course of global political affairs. Her research offers a fundamentally new account of twinning which situates these relationships within a wider, evolving landscape of global political activism and claim-making.

For LINES, Dr Ryan worked in collaboration with graphic design studio Minute Works to co-produce a series of eight unique posters. These posters represent examples of twinning practice – past and present – that have worked to disrupt existing constellations of global power and challenge the status quo. A sketchbook placed in the centre of the room was an artefact of Dr Ryan’s research journey. Functioning as a fieldwork diary, the multimedia artwork found in the sketchbook captured the emotional and cognitive processes elicited by the research process, rather than its outcomes and conclusions.