Monthly Archives: October 2013

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Re-Presenting Refugees: discussion starting points

audience+mazThe discussion focus on 30th Oct 2013 is around representation, definition and mobilisation. Here follows a list of questions which Kooj is using as starting points:

– to what extent do or should the arts practices under a ‘refugee’ umbrella represent a distinct sector, what are its identifying characteristics and what can this achieve?

– what are the limitations or problems with such initiatives?

– how does such work support and progress wider discussions around support for refugees and human rights?

– the way people seeking refuge are treated continues to move towards tighter restrictions, reduced sympathy and rights, greater destitution, racism and xenophobia. Is art at its limit in being able to influence such developments, or does our game need to change?

– what kind of a sector is it or should it become – a loose movement or an organised set of voices?

– is there a challenge to established modes of practice that such work presents, and in what ways?

– what kinds of practice might be of particular importance in developing such a sector?

– presentation of arts works in relation to refugees can often label themselves and dig their own corner of predictable narratives and styles – which in turn can stereotype themselves. In what ways can arts practices avoid such predictability?

If anyone has any responses to these, feel free to add your comments by clicking on ‘reply’.

“Life Without Papers” wins Best Writing Award (cross-post from ASHA blog)

The following was originally posted on ASHA’s blog at http://ashamanchester.wordpress.com/  on October 17, 2013 by tonyopenshaw :

The blog project, “Life Without Papers”, created by Len Grant, features stories of undocumented migrant families and young people. Undocumented migrants have nothing. They are not allowed to work. They have no right to state benefits nor to a place to live. They are unseen and potentially the most vulnerable group in the UK today.

Undocumented (or irregular) migrants include those trafficked into the sex trade or for domestic servitude; they include visa overstayers; those whose asylum applications have been refused and others who have been subject to failures in the immigration system. All of these may originally have come to the UK legally.

‘Illegal immigrants’ – those imagined to have entered the country in Continue reading

audience+maz

RE-PRESENTING REFUGEES: discussion, performance, exhibition

90 Degree Citizen exhibition project:
Special Event on Weds 30th October, 6pm – 9pm, at Manchester Museum

>> RE-PRESENTING REFUGEES panel discussion <<
>>
PASSENGER 12 multimedia performance <<
>>
COMMITTED TO REPRESENT exhibition premiere – open to view from 5pm <<

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A range of key speakers and artists explore critical issues around art, displacement and refugees.  As a dynamic movement, alternative practices and perspectives, cultural resistance or affirmation, political and historical contexts.  Open to the public on the eve of the Platforma national conference on arts and refugees.  A Virtual Migrants event www.virtualmigrants.net .

Discussion begins 7.20pm – panel includes:

Flora Alexander – Iranian visual artist based in Glasgow
Yusra Warsama – poet, playwright and actor from Somalia
Tom Green – director of Platforma national network of arts and refugees
Humberto Velez – international visual, media and performance artist
Isobel Bowler – legal case worker at GM Immigration Aid Unit
Iseult Timmermans – artist and creative producer with refugee groups at Street Level Photoworks
Discussion chaired by Kooj Chuhan – artist and cultural producer; founder of Virtual Migrants and director of 90 Degree Citizen

Multimedia experimental performance: part 1 begins 7pm with part 2 after the discussion – includes artists:

Sai Murray (writer, poet, spoken word)
Maya Chowdhry (performer, writer, multimedia and interactive artist)
Aidan Jolly (composer-songwriter and musician)
Tracey Zengeni (vocalist)
Mazaher (VJ projections)
Elmi Ali (writer, poet, spoken word)
Pat Mackela (drums and percussion)

Committed To Represent – exhibition premiere with talks about the work at 6pm including special guest Mavis Makhaza from Gtr Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together):

Portable panels of photography and text, portraying the people behind the labels – our unsung heroes the legal immigration caseworkers and those who have needed their support. Created by Kooj Chuhan, Ursula Sharma and Mazaher, as a partnership project between GM Immigration Aid and Virtual Migrants.  This is a pop-up exhibition only on show until 1st November in the Kanaris Foyer at the museum.

This event is a part of the 90 Degree Citizen exhibition, on show from 10th October – 17th November at Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

FREE to attend, but please register at www.re-presentingrefugees.eventbrite.co.uk

The café will be open during this event for food and drinks.  Light refreshments provided.  All timings are approximate.

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90 Degree Citizen – installing the exhibition

4bAmang Mardokhy arrives at Manchester Museum to install his paintings for 90 Degree Citizen – A rare exhibition of work by a new wave of visual artists whose experiences include life as refugees in the UK, and engaging with objects from The Manchester Museum.

“I have come from Kurdistan, north part of Iraq. Since the early start of my art experience, I also have learned how to live and express the sufferings of Continue reading

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UPDATE: Special Guests and online video – 90 Degree Citizen exhibition: Opens 10th Oct 6pm at Manchester Museum

WAST_logoSPECIAL GUESTS ANNOUNCED: Mavis Makhaza from GM Immigration Aid Unit and WAST (Women Asylum Speakers Together), plus Tony Openshaw from ASHA (Asylum Support Housing Advice) will speak about their work in relation to the exhibition

stephen welsh - youtubeNEW VIDEO INTERVIEW NOW ONLINE: Stephen Welsh, the Curator of Living Cultures at Manchester Museum, on museum collections and 90 Degree Citizen in the context of Victorian colonialism and ethnography

Thursday 10th October, 6pm, Manchester Museum, here are full details of the Opening Event from our website. Free, but register here