Platforma Festival 2017
The 4th national Platforma Festival for the arts by, about and with refugees and migrants will take place in Newcastle, Gateshead Stockton and Middlesborough 19-31 October 2017.
The main event is the 2-day PLATFORMA CONFERENCE in Newcastle 27-28 October.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Platforma Festival 2017 is produced by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with Freedom City 2017, Northern Roots, ISIS Arts, ARC Stockton, Art and Christianity Enquiry, the Platforma network and a range of other venues, organisations and networks. Commissioned artists include Isabel Lima (pictured below), Henna Asikainen, Juan DelGado, Natasha Davis and Katia Kameli.
The FREE programme includes:
19 October: “Connecting Communities”, ARC Stockton
A day of performances and conversations about how the arts can bring people together around issues relating to refugees and migration. Featuring a performance of Borderline by PSYCHEdelight, and a new work by Natasha Davis. Plus a screening of Queens of Syria (directed by Yasmin Fedda) and contributions from United Voices.
Full details and free booking here: http://arconline.co.uk/whats-on/community/connecting-communities-%E2%80%93-platforma-festival-2017
PSYCHEdelight facilitated art based workshops in Calais Jungle throughout 2015 -2016. Sophie Besse, a theatre director and art-therapist, witnessed among the refugees an eagerness for comedy as a way to contrast and express their tragedy. This experience gave her the impulse to create Borderline in collaboration with Frank Wurzinger, a professional clown practitioner. The show is the result of 6 weeks devising period with an ensemble of European and refugee performers altogether from 7 different nationalities : Uk, France, Syria, Afghanistan, Chile and Sudan. It has played to packed houses in the past 12 months across the UK and internationally. (Borderline photos by Jose Farinha)
Queens of Syria
Queens of Syria (directed by Yasmin Fedda) tells the story of fifty women from Syria, all forced into exile in Jordan, who came together in Autumn 2013 to create and perform their own version of the Trojan Women, the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy all about the plight of women in war. What followed was an extraordinary moment of cross-cultural contact across millennia, in which women born in 20th century Syria found a blazingly vivid mirror of their own experiences in the stories of a queen, princesses and ordinary women like them, uprooted, enslaved,and bereaved by the Trojan War.
T-Shirts by Natasha Davis
What is your favourite t-shirt? Tell me a story about it… When did you get it, was it a gift or did you buy it? Are there any special occasions you wore it for? Has it travelled with you across borders? Using t-shirts as the playful start of an exchange, the performance choreographs memories into a visual poem, with t-shirts becoming the link to vivid and faded colours in our lives, stains and scars, people and places we love, and the choices we make when we can take very little with us on our journeys. A multi-media encounter with time and memory, with losses and liberations of living in transit – from Natasha Davis, an artist whose own performances and t-shirts have been crossing borders on five continents through the past decade.
19-26 October: From Syria to Gateshead, Shipley Art Gallery
An artistic and musical exploration of belonging among refugee-background Syrian young people living in Gateshead. Over a three-month period, the fourteen young people represented in this exhibition participated in research interviews and workshops with professional artists and musicians to produce works that reflect their ideas and experiences of belonging. From Syria to Gateshead is a partnership between Durham University, GemArts and Gateshead CouncilFrom Syria to Gateshead is a partnership between Durham University, GemArts and Gateshead Council with support from Shipley Art Gallery. Full details: http://www.platforma.org.uk/pf_events/from-syria-to-gateshead/
21 October: Gresham Wooden Horse (Middlesborough)
Isabel Lima will introduce her latest project made with the community of Gresham in Middlesborough and commissioned by MIMA and Counterpoints Arts. There will be an opportunity to see an exhibition about the project and to take the short walk from the gallery to see the horse itself in Gresham. For full details contact email@example.com
25-26 October: Counterpoints Arts strategic session (Newcastle / Gateshead)
Following on from their first arts and social change “retreat” in Dartington last year, Counterpoints Arts (the charity that manages the Platforma network) will be running discussions and workshops for invited guests on themes including popular culture and European networking.
27 October: PLATFORMA CONFERENCE Day 1 (Newcastle, various venues): 10.00-18.00
Join us to share practice, ideas and inspiration with artists and organisations from across the North East, the UK and internationally. This first day of the Conference will focus on new work commissioned for the Festival, providing hands-on engagement with some of the most important issues relating to the arts by, with and about refugees and migrants. All events in this programme are free and open to all (unless otherwise stated).
To reserve a place at the Conference please email firstname.lastname@example.org
10.00-11.30: Conference launch at St John the Baptist Church, Grainger Street, Newcastle NE1 5JG
Featuring a new installation by artist Katia Kameli (pictured below), a French-Algerian artist commissioned as part of the Platforma Festival by Art and Christianity Enquiry, the leading UK organisation in the field of visual art and religion. Almir Koldzic and Áine O’Brien, co-directors of Counterpoints Arts, will introduce the Conference and outline the main themes attendees will be invited to explore.
12.00-14.00: Art In The Park: Forage and The Big M, Nuns Moor Park, Newcastle NE4
From the church we will walk about 30 minutes together to the park (alternative transport provided if required) where, in partnership with ISIS Arts, we present a new work by Henna Asikainen, Forage. Produced with participants from local communities in Newcastle, and with the co-operation of the National Trust, the work will be made on the day from a collection of foraged materials. More details here: http://counterpointsarts.org.uk/artist/henna-asikainen-forage/
ISIS Arts will also be presenting work curated by Juan Delgado in their unique inflatable gallery, The Big M.
Plus there will be free food, music, and discussion around aspects of the work displayed.
15.00-17.00: Parallel seminars (venues to be confirmed)
1) Self-organising, networks and the role of the artist (full details to come)
2) Elena Marchevska introduces the results of her LADA/Counterpoints Arts research residency: “The Study Room Guide on The Displaced and Privilege: Live Art in Age of Hostility” and “The Toolkit for Itinerant Artist”. Plus Canadian filmmaker and scholar Marusya Bociurkiw presents her film about internally displaced LGBT communities in Ukraine ‘This is Gay Propaganda’.
18.00-20.00: Stranger Tales, Settle Down Cafe, 61-62 Thornton St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4AW
Capacity limited – first come, first served.
Stranger Tales is an intimate storytelling experience that will take you across the globe, traversing time and distance, travelling from Siberia to a UK city street, bringing you stories that have never been told before. Created by theatre maker Stella Barnes with two professional performers and the input of 20 members of the public who shared their stories, Stranger Tales is part of Stella’s ongoing work in the field of arts and migration. She has a special interest in the notion of hospitality and how it relates to arts practice and attitudes to migration. The work is a frame for exploring complex and sometimes conflicting perceptions and offer a ‘performance’ of hospitality. The word hospitality has its roots in the word ‘host’ which has two origins: the Latin for stranger or enemy, and conversely guest. Stranger Tales is presented as a work in progress in collaboration with The Southbank Centre, Counterpoints Arts and idle women. This event is not suitable for small children.
Image (below) by Candice Purwin
28 October: PLATFORMA CONFERENCE Day 2 – 10.00-16.00
Newcastle City Library, 33 New Bridge St W, NE1 8AX
The second day of the Conference will be a chance to hear about a range of different projects and artistic interventions from around the country and internationally. There will also be a chance to reflect on work seen on Day 1 and elsewhere in the Festival. We will then be inviting attendees to consider a range of questions about their own approaches and what they have seen elsewhere, working towards ideas for a new Platforma Manifesto on the arts by, with and about refugees and migrants.
All welcome, regardless of previous experience in this work and whether you are able to attend on the 27th or not. Please email email@example.com to confirm attendance.
At 3pm we will present a performance of the brilliant Borderline by PSYCHEdelight, the acclaimed “comedy about a tragedy” made collaboratively by a company of young refugees and European actors and a sell-out hit at venues across the country.
Plus there will be a performance by dance and choreographer Tim Rubidge and Afshin Emam drawing on work done for the Make/Shift dance project.
Attendance is free and open to all, whether you are able to attend Day 1 or not. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
7pm: Borderline at Gosforth Civic Theatre
Full details to come!
31 October: Migration Museums Network event, Main Hall at Discovery Museum
This is an event to bring together and share learning from the pilot of the Migration Museums Network. This network is aiming to increase and improve outputs associated with migration and related themes in museums and galleries across the UK. The event in Newcastle will be a practical day. Full details to come.
The biennial Platforma Festival brings together artists, organisations, funders and others for discussions, workshops and the chance to share practice and showcase new work. The first three took place in London (2011), Manchester (2013) and Leicester (2015).
Platforma arts and refugee network supports and develops arts by, about and with refugees and migrants from marginalised communities. It brings together groups and artists / performers of any background or political status (e.g. refugees and non-refugees), whose work examines the varied experiences of refugees and migrants both before and after they arrived and settled in their host country. Platforma is managed by Counterpoints Arts in partnership with organisations across the country.
Counterpoints Arts is a leading national organisation in the field of arts, migration and social change. Our mission is to support and produce the arts by and about migrants and refugees, seeking to ensure that their contributions are recognized and welcomed within British arts, history and culture.
About Freedom City 2017
The Platforma Festival is being presented as part of Freedom City 2017. On 13th November 1967, Newcastle University awarded Dr Martin Luther King an honorary degree, the only UK university to do so in his lifetime. On accepting this award, Dr King made what was to be his final public speech outside of the US before his assassination in April 1968. In a moving address, he called for us to join him in the ongoing struggle against war, poverty and racism. Freedom City 2017 brings together international artists, musicians, filmmakers, academics and community groups to inspire a new generation to contribute towards tackling the issues that Dr King spoke of in his acceptance speech.
On Sunday 29th October a great drama will engulf NewcastleGateshead, inspired by Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and epic civil rights struggles from across the globe, both past and present. Out of the buildings and through the streets of NewcastleGateshead will come a unique afternoon of theatre, music, dance, circus and art to celebrate the courage and sacrifice of those who have led the long march for civil rights. Starting from different locations across the city, the stories from Alabama 1963, India 1919, South Africa 1961, Manchester 1819, and Tyneside 1936 will be woven together in a unique immersive performance featuring a local cast of hundreds that will develop throughout the day. As night falls, an uplifting climax will bring the city to a standstill for a memorable moment of light, sound and theatre.