Coxside Smoke Signal (funded by the Being Human Festival and supported by Take A Part), due to the changing COVID regulations, began as a series of face to face workshops by Crab & Bee in the marginalised community of Teats Hill (Plymouth, UK) building to a processional performance, but ended up considerably elongated with a delivery of work packs to peoples’ homes. Based on the locally-set story of Albina and Her 33 Syrian Sisters, participants were encouraged to write their hopes for the future and fold them into paper boats which were sent to the future in a ceremonial burning on the Teats Hill Slipway. After a preliminary ‘secret’ burning procession by Crab & Bee, observed by a handful of residents, at the end of 2020, a public burning was finally able to happen in 2021 with the relaxation of restrictions, and almost 50 paper boats made by local residents were burned.
Phil Smith is a performance-maker, writer and academic researcher. With visual artist Helen Billinghurst, he is one half of Crab & Bee (Plymouth Labyrinth , The Pattern , etc.). With Tony Whitehead and photographer John Schott, he published Guidebook For An Armchair Pilgrimage (2019), and the novel Bonelines (2020), and Covert (2021) with Melanie Kloetzel. With Claire Hind and Helen Billinghurst, he co-organised ‘Walking’s New Movements’ conference (2019) and co-edited Walking Bodies (2020). Other books include: Making Site-Specific Theatre and Performance (Red Globe/Macmillan, 2018), Anywhere (2017), On Walking and Enchanted Things (2014) and Mythogeography (2010). He is an Associate Professor (Reader) at University of Plymouth.