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East Midlands
02 November 2015  -  09 November 2015

Journeys Extra

Dreaming of home

Journeys Extra is a new initiative, developed by ArtReach in collaboration with Leicester City of Sanctuary, which will run in parallel to the Platforma Festival in Leicester.

Journeys Extra will provide an exciting platform for refugee and asylum seeker artists to have their voices heard, through showcasing and discussing their work, within an innovative and thought-provoking programme of visual, interactive and musical events. Journeys Extra will ‘wrap around’ the Platforma Conference to provide a cohesive, enriching creative programme and will also provide a platform to pilot new ideas and catalyse opportunities for artists and organisations to become involved in Journeys Festival 2016.

Visual Art

Hong Dam ‘Dreaming of Home’
Exhibition at Gray’s Cafe, LCB Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1RE
2nd-9th November 2015

Hong’s exhibition discusses the theme of ‘What reminds you of home?’. Her career as an artist began as a way of sharing her life experiences with her daughter. Hong’s work is a personal journey of self discovery; exploring the universal themes of love, loss, separation and hope. She uses contemporary mediums to bring together the different facets of her childhood memories – the feelings of hope and the dreams of a child who had to flee her homeland as a refugee.

Behjat Omer Abdulla ‘Look Up, Look Back’
Exhibition at the Courtyard Gallery, LCB Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1RE
2nd-8th November 2015

Behjat Omer Abdulla uses drawing as a means of documenting people’s stories. His artwork has always been informed and somewhat haunted by his own personal experiences – his aversion to war and consequently his political views. In August 2015 Behjat’s incredible drawings were increased to huge scales and pasted onto the sides of buildings around Leicester for the ‘Look Up’ gallery , part of Journeys festival. This new exhibition takes a ‘Look Back’ and responds to this exhibition.

Ali Agayev (in collaboration with Leicester Arts Zone) ‘Fighting to Stay Alive’
Exhibition at the Lightbox Gallery, LCB Depot, Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1RE
2nd-8th November 2015

Ali Agayev was born in Azerbaijan but now lives and works as an artist in Leicester, after seeking refuge here. Ali runs art classes for refugees and asylum seekers, alongside other members of the Leicester community. His personal experiences have inspired him to produce this ambitions multi-artform exhibition – ‘Fighting to Stay Alive’, which documents a failed migrant channel crossing. The exhibition will feature paintings produced in collaboration with the attendees of Ali’s Leicester Arts Zone painting classes, as well as film and installation pieces. This is set to be a very powerful and thought provoking exhibition.

Music & Performance

Presented as part of the Platforma Conference.

Danto Aya 
Danto is a Bolton-based, Tuareg musician & singer. He plays electric and acoustic guitar in a style some call ‘Desert Blues’. He composes songs and sings in his ‘people’s language’ – Tamasheq. Danto will be performing on Friday 6th November at the Platforma Conference.

Haymanot Tesfa
Ethiopian-born singer and artist Haymanot Tesfa will give a short performace at the Platforma Conference, following which ArtReach will lead a workshop to discuss and evaluate the Coffee Shop Conversations project, in which Haymanot participated.

‘A Journey of Unbelonging’
This performace piece combines live action painting and improvised music composition. The original performance was the result of a commissioned collaboration between three Refugee Artists who had not worked together before, for Journeys Festival in 2013. They chose to express their shared experiences and journeys as refugees. The performance is being re-imagined for Journeys Extra at the Platforma Conference on Thursday 5th November by Mina Mikhail Salama (Egyptian composer /instrumentalist), Aysegul Balkose (Turkish performance & visual art).

Photoworks Project

Artist Anna Sherbany will be working with a group of refugees and asylum seekers from Leicester City of Sanctuary in the lead up to the Festivals to train them to use photographic equipment. The participants will be taught how to compose, light and shoot their own self-portraits, the results of which will be exhibited at the Platforma Conference.

Journeys Extra launch party! Monday 2nd November, 6pm, LCB Depot

Image: Dreaming of Home (detail) by Hong Dam

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