Name: Montse Mosquera
Location: St Helens / Liverpool
1. What is your relationship to Merseyside?
Four years ago I moved to Liverpool for university but as a very close friend of mine lives in St Helens I visit it very often
2. How does Merseyside impact or shape your practice?
Living in Merseyside has definitely had an important impact on my practice. Ever since I moved to Liverpool I started feeling the need to document moments through photography, things that for a local are usual and almost invisible to them. For me personally, it’s a new discovery that needs to be captured.
3. What’s are the positives and negatives of living and working in Merseyside?
The people. Before I moved to England, friends who lived in London had told me British people are not very nice and cold but it was shocking for me seeing people in the north are actually quite welcoming and lovely, with a good sense of humour.
Merseyside hates tories and it’s something I fell in love with when I found out.
I would say the accent is something I didn’t like at the beginning, as it was very difficult to understand but now I’m glad I got a little bit more used to it as I feel that if I can understand scousers I will be able to understand any other accent.
I’m a city person but the only negative I have is that Liverpool isn’t as big as some of the other cities I’ve travelled to. I come from Barcelona which is a big city and sometimes Ifind Liverpool a little small, with less work opportunities than if I move to Manchester or London
4. What does independence / being independent mean to you?
Being independent is being able to be free, make your own decisions and learn from your own mistakes. I made a big decision to come to Liverpool from Barcelona, to a country I didn’t know very well and a language I wasn’t all too confident in. And now nearly 4 years on I’ve grown as a more independent and confident person, so I would say independence is allowing yourself to be comfortable in your surroundings, even if you feel uneasy at first. It’s about allowing time to grow and go through change, and you will learn far more about yourself during this process.
5. Is Merseyside a good place to be independent?
It is. If you spend enough time in a place you’ll start to discover places, organisations and spaces not widely known to the people who come from elsewhere. After living here for a short while I discovered pages like Independent Liverpool and Bido Lito that support independent artists and businesses. From there I was able to go out and support these artists and organisations in whatever way I could, and it made me feel more a part of the culture of Merseyside and brought me closer to the people here. As an artist myself, this was vital.
6. What are your favourite examples of independence / the independent in Merseyside?
As I mentioned above, Independent Liverpool and Bido Lito pointed me in the direction of upcoming artists and cool businesses I otherwise may not have discovered. Baltic Market, Handyman, The Merchant, Kitchen Street, Kazimier Gardens and Jacaranda Records are some of the bars and spaces I frequent. Personally I spent most of my time in Liverpool being a student so those are the places that have my admiration and love, for the good times. They are places where a lot of young artists also visit, so being around people similar to myself has been a blessing.
7. What is your favourite cultural organisation in Merseyside and why?
Tate and FACT are my favourites. I could not choose. For me going to galleries or museums is the same as going out for a walk or exercise. I have seen interesting and memorable exhibitions in both of these spaces.
8. What is your favourite place in Merseyside and why?
Bold Street. You can find anything you want, you can walk by someone you know, it’s close from everything you need and looking up to see the view of the Bombed Out Church at the end of the street is a view I’ll always cherish.
9. If you could make Merseyside different, what would you change, and why?
If I could, I would make Liverpool even more driven by its artists and cultures. Whether it’s been music, art or entertainment, Merseyside has had a huge impact on the rest of the country and the world and I would want to see that encouraged more. I would stop the construction of more student accommodations that affect some independent businesses from growing, and create more spaces that celebrate Merseyside.
10. Describe Merseyside to someone who’s never visited
Merseyside itself is big enough for anyone, it has a lot of green areas, beaches. It’s close to Ireland, Wales, The Lake District and Manchester, so for me it’s at the heart of what makes the North of England so special. The people are some of the nicest people in the UK and Liverpool has a lot of history and culture I care about. The nightlife is so good that whenever I leave the city, I miss it. In my opinion it is a perfect place for creatives young and old.