Pogranicze on YouTube
Borderland are regularly posting some tasty videos of recent project work onto the web. You’ll find them at http://www.youtube.com/pograniczesejny. Our favourite choices are the klezmer fusion band (if that is the correct way to describe it) arising from workshops with trumpeter Paul Brody. And a short piece about an art installation by Piotra Kurki, Czarne światło or Black Light. This was installed during the New Agora Symposium in December.
48 hour Dialogue – Laundry Creative Laboratory
In March, we have a two groups of young cultural animators/community artists coming over to the West Midlands from Warsaw, Poland. One group will be based at Walsall Youth Arts, Monday 9th March - Saturday 14th March. The second group will be based at Bosnia House, Sparkbrook, Monday March 23rd - Sunday March 29th.
Each group (of 5 individuals) will work with us to explore a specific geographic area over a 48 hour period and, using their creative skills, engage in dialogue with local people – a form of action research – addressing questions of identity and cultural heritage. They will then present their findings back to an invited audience. We will have some email planning with them in advance, so they can devise some ideas of what they will do, and they will have some production time in situ to make an installation in the specific venue, transforming it and host an open event/seminar at the weekend to gather reactions and responses. They will be responsible for devising the content of the open event in such a way that visitors/audience can interact and engage with it to provoke and stimulate further dialogue and comment.
The purpose of this is to:
a. give this group some practical experience of the work we do and the community environments we function in, working alongside us
b. to stimulate dialogue as part of the larger project
c. to provide/stimulate the host group with new ideas and possibilities.
As a follow up, we will some ’round table’ events with the host venues, using the 48 Hour Dialogue as a starting point. Throughout February, Laundry members are doing some preparatory work in both locations. (Image above produced by Abdul and Rav from photo workshop in Sparkbrook).
Baku Research Visit
Laundry visited Baku in February, meeting with youth and cultural organisations, to develop content for a Creative Laboratory to be undertaken with partners later in the year. Thanks to Elman and Anar for their help. Gallery of images loaded.
Creative Laboratories in Primary School Contexts
Planning sessions are being undertaken to structure an exchange of dialogue between two primary schools, one in Wolverhampton and one in Leeds, both in multicultural areas. The exchange will take place in the summer term.
Sacred Quran project
We went to the launch of a new publication produced by Ulfah Arts, based on a project undertaken at Wightwick Manor, a National Trust property in Wolverhampton, West Midlands. Taking quotations from the Sacred Quran as a starting point, the project explored the Manor house and the surrounding gardens through the eyes of local Muslim men and women. The resulting publication acts as a ‘faith trail’ which ‘explores the relationship between faith, special places and lifestyle.’ This was part of a broader programme ‘Whose Story’ at National Trust properties, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which engaged with ethnic communities.
Ulfah described the project in this way: “The aim would be to produce a guide which highlights the quotes from the Quran but at the same time brings them to life using the house. A resource for those who wish to learn more about Islam but also for those who visit Wightwick manor regularly, offering them a new insight into the manor.”
Wightwick is a Victorian manor house, and one of the few surviving examples of a house furnished under the Arts & Craft movement, and has many original William Morris wallpapers and fabrics. Naz Koser is the Director of Ulfah, and is one of the artists awarded a bursary to work on aspects of the intercultural dialogue project. Some of her thoughts to date are posted in the Dialogues section.
One of the Laundry team, Bev recently worked on a project for Friction Arts in Birmingham. (Simon Walker, one of the current bursary artists with Laundry also worked on it). We thought it was worth posting some information on it. Friction Arts devised the project to record the thoughts, memories and stories of ‘islanders’ living in the Five Ways area of Birmingham. You can find full details at ilandlife.com. And here’s a gallery from one of the events.