They Are Here

We Help Each Other Grow


23 May – 26 June



We Help Each Other Grow

2017, 4mins

Video shot on thermal imaging camera.
Music: We’ve Helped Each Other Grow composed and performed by Mx World.
Performed by and co-choreographed with Thiru Seelan.

Commissioned by and screened in collaboration with Furtherfield.

“I had to go because I needed to save my life. I wasn’t myself. Just bone and flesh. I didn’t have a soul or anything.” Thiru Seelan, Global Citizen Interview, 20.02.17.

Thiru, a Tamil refugee dances on an East London roof looking towards the skyline of Canary Wharf. His movement is inspired by the dance form Bharatanatyam, traditionally only performed by women and taught to Thiru in secret by his younger sister.

When Thiru came to the UK in 2010, following a six month detention in which he was tortured for his political affiliations by police authorities, Canary Wharf was his first home.

His movement is recorded by a heat sensitive camera more conventionally used as surveillance technology and deployed to monitor borders and crossing points, where bodies may be recorded and captured through their thermal signature.

The song We’ve Helped Each Other Grow composed and performed by London based Mx World was chosen with Thiru. Mx is a prefix that does not indicate gender. In the UK, it can be used on many ‘official’ documents – including passports. The repeated refrain, ‘We’ve helped each other grow’ suggests a communal vision for self and social development.

We Help Each Other Grow was part of They Are Here’s exhibition Please Identify Yourself at Furtherfield 18 March – 2 April, 2017.


They Are Here (f.2006) is a collaborative practice steered by Helen Walker and Harun Morrison. They are currently based in London and on the River Lea. Their work can be read as a series of context specific games. The entry, invitation or participation can be as significant as the game’s conditions and structure. Through these games, they seek to create ephemeral systems and temporary, micro-communities that offer an alternate means of engaging with a situation, history or ideology. In parallel, they initiate multi-year socially engaged projects that become generative spaces for further works. They Are Here work across media and types of site, particularly civic spaces. Institutions they have developed or presented work include: CCA Glasgow, Furtherfield, Grand Union, Konsthall C (Stockholm), Southbank Centre, South London Gallery, Studio Voltaire STUK (Leuven, Belgium) and Tate Modern.