Ideas via email…
From: Naz ulfaharts
Subject: Sufi Punk
To: ianachapman, gurdanthomas
Cc: Prashant Singh
Date: Sunday, 11 January, 2009
Happy New Year!
I hope you have arrived safely in Munich and that all is well. I just wanted to follow up on Sufi Punk. In our last meeting we concluded the following:
In this project we hope to “engage communities that rarely mix” – exploring why? Is it their perceptions? Reveal the truth. Reality of what is real. Offer enlightenment.
We discussed intercultural dialogue and I feel it’s important that we all have the same definition we are working too. I feel for this project it is focusing on people who are from different culture/countries and how we behave towards them. We are aiming to work towards a 10 minute performance from Birmingham and in international context (with a partner location) . If we can agree the content of what we are doing I can then send you a contract and you can invoice me for the first half of the fee.
Ideas: My latest idea has been to have a map or a globe and ask people in each the selected areas the following: (I think we can do this exercise by blind folding the participant as well as not blind folded to see the results. I think we would get some really interesting stories to write and put music too.)
I was thinking the following:
* We can have two chairs and a sign saying come and speak to me?
* They point at the globe/map blind folded or not and answer the following:
Who would they like to meet and why?
What do they think they would be like?
What would they like to them about themselves?
What would they like to know?
Do they know any of these people locally? If yes how did they meet?
If you saw these people how would you initiate conversation?
If I could deliver them a message what would you like me to say?
I feel this approach is easy and not very costly. I also feel it will be rich in material for us to use but also give an insight into how people feel when they choose who they want to meet and when they don’t have a choice i.e. when they are blind folded.
Prashant you are interested in documenting this as a possible documentary to support our performance. What do you think? How can this be made visually interesting to support our work but also stand alone?
Let me know your thoughts!
Lots of love Naz
From: Gurdan Thomas
Sent: 13 January 2009, To: Naz ulfaharts
Subject: Re: Sufi Punk
Hope your are well - I’m having a great time here, my apartment is luxurious and has an amazing view of the lake and the Alps in the distance - the other musicians are great and we’ve been making lots of music (sometimes quite late into the night) - I’m also trying to learn German, which is slow but I’m learning new words every day - I can almost have a 2 or 3 sentence conversation with someone.
Regarding the project I think your summary; “we hope to “engage communities that rarely mix” – exploring why? Is it their perceptions? Reveal the truth. Reality of what is real. Offer enlightenment.” is spot on. Just a few thoughts on your idea.
Other questions could be;
How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you (how would you define yourself)? Perhaps something along the lines of - What is important to you in - the community/ Society - in your personal life / family - on a global scale?
With the ‘what would you like to ask them’ it would be great if we could somehow take these questions to some of the people they’d like to ask and get an answer, maybe on a postcard and then as an option (and for an incentive of something in return) send the answer back to them - postcard or email, or maybe set up a Website with a sort of Forum page that lists the questions and answers - perhaps the dialogue would continue between them.
The map that they point at perhaps there should be 2, a world map and a more local map of Birmingham Districts perhaps - we could perhaps also ask where have they been - maybe offer bus routes and info on getting to places (or attractions that might encourage them to go) incase they feel like an adventure and travelling there - perhaps with post cards (or email, although there is something more special and lasting about a postcard, particularly if we get some well designed - attractive - interesting ones) they could let us know about their experience.
Also what about giving the option of taking a photo of them so when we do speak to other cultures / communities they can see what they look like.. Also it would be interesting to ask questions to other people coming from out first interviewees with 2 approaches 1) showing them the photo beforehand and 2) only showing the photo at the end - obviously we’d have to be mindful of the implications of taking photo’s of children.
I did have another idea based on yours, but then I decided it would be too much work and be too leading in the answers people might give (it was creating a book with multiple choice answers to questions on a story about them falling asleep on the bus and ending up in Sheldon for example and they would choose what they would do and who they would speak to and even the responses they think the other people might make). But I will carry on thinking and send you some ideas if they come. I’m off to try some new instruments that arrived today woohoo!!
Email to you soon
From: Prashant Singh
Sent: 15 January 2009 12:48
To: Naz Koser
Subject: RE: Sufi Punk
Sounds great !
I can video and audio record the whole process….if anything we can keep it as a video project report?
Editors note: it is interesting that the group of young animators from Warsaw who participated in the Open Lab, also talked about the idea of mapping came up with the idea of using a globe as a talking point, as a device to start a conversation. (It worked). They found a beautiful pink glowing globe in town. A lot of artists use mapping tecniquesa s part of their practice, such as Katrin Bohm. For an example of this kind of project go to: www.folkestonomy.net