Crossing Footprints is here.
CROSSING FOOTPRINTS generates creative production towards action for human rights, environment, equality and wellbeing. More than ever before there is a realisation that change is needed, that structures which prevent change have to be both exposed and radically altered, and that we need to understand the long view of how we got here.
We are a newly formed Community Interest Company based in Manchester and London, involving a network of mostly BAME members and freelance professionals with strong and diverse track records. Our work is built on over 30 years of collaboration and activity led by our director Kooj Chuhan in various capacities such as our precursor organisation Metaceptive Projects and the artist collective Virtual Migrants. This includes award winning projects connecting race, migration and climate change, and work that has been shown across the UK and internationally. Heritage projects include a recent collaboration with the Southern Voices group exploring WWI and the British Colonies, and a number of projects with First Cut Media focusing on the African and Caribbean communities in and around the Moss Side and Hulme areas of Manchester.
Crossing Footprints has just completed a major 2021 project titled Climate Connections, a new digital arts project raising awareness about climate change and enabling diverse, migrant and working class local people from Oldham to have a voice in the environmental movement. Local people taking part are also connected with people in Bremen and Hamburg in Germany, through Oldham’s participation in the ‘Building Bridges’ programme connecting libraries and their communities between different part of Europe. https://crossingfootprints.com/climate-connections/
We have also collaborated with Community Arts North West to deliver a programme of arts and culture ‘Welcome’ events and workshops across a set of nine Greater Manchester Libraries that have recently been awarded ‘Libraries Of Sanctuary’ status. Short media projects in 2021 include a dramatic monologue set during WWII referencing the Palestinian experience by Jewish writer and actor Nikki Mailer, a film about the experience of Covid by the Bengali cultural group Anamika for the Ahmed Igbal Ullah Education Trust, and supporting an arts project on climate justice with an African focus by Amani Creatives.
In 2022 we have begin the Migration Stories project, a 3-year partnership with four other organisations across the North West of England. The project aims to unearth histories of migration in the North West from ancient times to the present day, which will re-frame migration as something that has been fundamental to the UK for a very long time. More about the project at https://crossingfootprints.com/migration-stories/ . We’re also working with Oldham Libraries to deliver climate awareness and activism among the local Bangladeshi Community in the Northmoor area which will culminate in activities and events during September and October 2022.
In a time of fake news, growing right wing agendas and social polarisation, there has never been a greater need for arts and creativity to integrate critical analysis, activism and democratic participation towards an educative and purposeful culture.
Crossing Footprints CIC
Company No. 12792421 registered at 61 Bridge Street, Kington HR5 3DJ
(please note this is neither a mailing nor a trading address).
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Showreel – snippets of selected projects, video and installation works by the director of Crossing Footprints, Kooj Chuhan, from 2001 onwards:
Kooj Chuhan – Showreel on Vimeo.
Film, digital art, documentary and installation led by director Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan towards racial equality, climate resistance, social justice, radical perspectives and cultural collaboration. Producing creative and cultural projects at all levels from broadcast and international exhibition to community engagement and education.
Metaceptive is built on the experience, insights and skills that Kooj has developed through numerous collaborations, research, production, activism and a distinctive career spanning over 30 years as an independent artist and creative producer. Clients have included the NHS, Manchester United, ICA (London), Durham University, Manchester Museum, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, People’s History Museum, Manchester University, LIME (arts and health agency), Community Arts North West, HOME arts centre, Opera North, national charities such as ACE Centres and the YWCA. Kooj has also worked in schools, youth groups and other informal settings, and lectured in film production for eight years at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Metaceptive and Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan
Metaceptive projects + media has been a trading name for specific strands of productions by socially-engaged film-maker and digital artist Kooj Chuhan for many years.
Kooj works as a film maker, digital media artist and creative producer including cultural development; a collaborative consultant for museums; and education, curriculum and learning development. He has worked with international artists such as Keith Piper and Shahidul Alam, yet has also extensively worked with many communities and was a senior manager at Community Arts North West and for Tameside MBC. As an Indian artist by both birth and heritage Kooj maintains strong links with the sub-continent creatively and professionally as well as personally.
He lectures in filmmaking at Manchester Metropolitan University and has exhibited and published across the UK and internationally, incl. festivals such as VIDEO POSITIVE, ISEA and SIGGRAPH. He served on the board for FACT (Foundation for Arts & Creative Technology) from 1998-2003. Films include ‘Raag, Glitter & Chips’ (1995), ‘No Trace’ (2007) and ‘Buy This’ (2013) and he has shown films at festivals including Kino (Manchester), Bite The Mango (Bradford), Fillum (London), Document (Glasgow), BlackScreen (Liverpool), Asian Contemporary Art Week (New York) and SAVAC (Toronto).
His work often explores cultural and social issues from migrant perspectives with historical, global and local contexts. Artistic approaches include integrating documentary and fiction; non-linear narratives and interactivity; and post-colonial culture. He served on the board for FACT (Foundation for Arts & Creative Technology) from 1998-2003. In 2011 he won a Beacon award for his pioneering work connecting refugees with issues of climate change using digital media arts.
Kooj has founded and run a number of groups and organisations such as the Virtual Migrants artists collective focusing on race, migration and globalisation. He pioneered the video-dialogues method at Manchester Museum which facilitates co-production with communities; and worked with a partnership of eight museums and galleries on a major project about Manchester’s links with transatlantic slavery.
Recent work includes the major Footprint Modulation exhibition exploring climate change, migration and global justice, devised, curated and managed by Metaceptive and Kooj Chuhan. Alongside his own interactive art work, the exhibition critically connected artists and cultural venues with researchers, activists, communities and documentary media to interrogate, expose, humanise and discuss the subject.
He advocates education in its broadest sense and has worked as a teacher in a range of environments both formal and informal. Kooj has also previously worked as a scientist, a community worker, and as a professional musician. He is actively involved in various movements for positive social change.