Viva Declaration! counters post-Brexit threats against human rights

Title poster image for Viva Declaration

A new music and multimedia performance raises the bar against the anti-human rights and anti-migration agenda hoisted onto Brexit.  Viva Declaration! uses global jazz music with live mixed video to evocatively remind us of how important our human rights are.  Created and performed by film and digital media artist Kooj Chuhan and the multi-instrumentalist composer Tagné Tebu, it focuses on the story of migration from ancient history to the present day.

The live show takes place at the People’s History Museum (PHM) on Saturday 22nd February at 2pm to launch their year-long programme of activity around migration.  At the heart of the Viva Declaration! project is a strong message about human rights, that they are vital and that they should not be watered down.  This is the potential scenario now that we have left the EU as was recently asserted loud and clear by Boris Johnson’s new Attorney General, Suella Braverman.

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In Humanity: borders, detention, human rights

In Humanity art installation and exhibition

In Humanity art installation and exhibition
1st – 23rd February 2020
at People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester  M3 3ER

+ ARTISTS’ TALK AND GUIDED TOUR
by Kooj Chuhan @ 2pm on Saturday 1st Feb.

In Humanity asks how far do we treat people needing refuge in humanity and with care?  The UK is the only place in Europe with no time limit on detention.  Nearly 30,000 people are locked up each year most of whom are eventually released, this is a shameful civil rights abuse that cannot be ignored.

By artist and film-maker Kooj Chuhan in collaboration with These Walls Must Fall and Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, including soundtrack fragments by musician and composer Tagné Tebu.  In Humanity is part of the Declaration project by Metaceptive. 

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Migration Justice event featuring Declaration performance

Respected activist Viraj Mendis, video and music artists Tagné+Kooj and playwright-poet Louise Wallwein MBE are on the bill at a unique event to support migration justice on 25th September 2019 in Manchester.

migration justice, rights and resistance feat. Declaration performance - at Partisan 25 Sept 2019

Justice, Rights and Resistance

at Partisan, 19 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M4 4FY
Doors open 6.30pm / event runs 7pm-9.30pm
Food and refreshments will be available to buy
Tickets £8 / £5 / Pay-what-you-can

>> Click HERE for Tickets <<

Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) mark their 30th birthday with this event looking back over their 30 years of delivering Justice, Rights and Resistance. Among the performances, speakers and discussion the event will feature a special performance of ‘Declaration’ by Kooj Chuhan and Tagné Tebu. Combining live music and projected visuals, they have collaborated with GMIAU and These Walls Must Fall to create this emotive work (more info below).  The event will look back on successful campaigns against racist immigration policies and discuss future challenges in the continued fight for immigration justice.

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Poppy Retake at M-Shed Bristol 10th April-7th May

The Poppy Retake

 and other work exploring
Colonies, Militarism and WWI

At M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN Tel:
0117 352 6600
From Weds 10th April until Tues 7th May 2019
Open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-5pm (closed on all other Mondays)
https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/the-poppy-retake-from-the-shadows-of-war-and-empire/

The Poppy Retake at M-Shed

It’s great that we are about to have The Poppy Retake at M-Shed Museum on show for a month as a part of the Commemoration, Conflict and Conscience festival – see https://everydaylivesinwar.herts.ac.uk/ccc/ . Special thanks to the Remembering the Real World War I group, and also Tony T at Sweet Patootee www.sweetpatootee.co.uk for inviting the work to be shown. More about The Poppy Retake at http://crossingfootprints.com/poppy-retake/ but here’s a quick summary:

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Cuts Of The Cloth dystopian play with projected visuals

Written by Hafsah Aneelah Bashir, directed by Nikki Mailer, with visual projections and sound design by Kooj Chuhan/Metaceptive Media. Produced by Outside The Frame Arts. Performed as a part of the PUSH festival at HOME Manchester on 18th and 19th January 2019 in Stage 1.

The following by James Varney from his review in Exeunt magazine describes what the play is about:

Cuts of the Cloth is science fiction. In an unspecified future, a Muslim woman is kept in a human museum, as a resource in a governmental programme for warning against the dangers of ‘Islamisation’, radicalism, ‘Islamist ideology’ and other vague but threatening-sounding words used to pigeonhole British Muslims. Hafsah Aneela Bashir plays a woman reduced to an exhibit number. In whatever ‘present’ we inhabit together, she is placid, as if wiped clean – calmly saluting peace like an automaton. As she recounts her stories, ostensibly of warning, we see the passionate, human woman she used to be. (…) And the sci-fi framing does what all good science fiction does; the real story is in the past, which is to say our present. Bashir’s protagonist is detained and searched at border control, her students are investigated for having conversations which are too political.”

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Transnational Justice: activism, practice, theory

Transnational Justice conference at Kings, LondonBefore talking about Transnational Justice let’s first remember the obvious, simply that we are ruled by laws. So the major kinds of injustice in the world must need to be addressed in partnership with progressive sectors of legal theory and practice. This is something which us creative activists do too little of.

Last month I was presenting the work I do at a very worthwhile conference on political and legal justice connecting with environment, economy, health, migration, equality, activism and arts, the Transnational Law Summit at King’s College London. More info about this is at www.transnationallawsummit.org .

Keynote presenters included Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Dexter Dias QC. Panel presenters like myself included the well known ecoliteracy guru Fritjof Capra, Nick Flynn from Avaaz and Jannie Staffansson from the Saami Council. Well funded (and equally well dressed) the conference had the air of being high profile with the strong intention of supporting justice for the future.

Transnational Justice – game-change for climate justice?

Transnational Justice conference at Kings, LondonI’m not going to attempt a full review or critique of the conference, but the session I found really compelling was titled ‘Climate Change and Court Rooms’. Was this the beginning of major shifts in reparatory forces to gain justice for damage to communities and to counter climate change? Continue reading

MINI-CONFERENCE World War I’s Hidden Voices and Poppy Retake exhibition

World War I’s Hidden Voices MINI-CONFERENCE
Saturday 10th February 2018, 1pm – 4.30pm
at Manchester Central Library (First Floor), St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK    Tel. +44 (0)161 234 1983

Registration is strongly advised and completely FREE at https://conferencehiddenvoicesww1.eventbrite.co.uk

India, Africa, the West Indies, colonialism and recruitment, the impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war explored in a free afternoon conference.

Saturday 10th February 2018, 1pm – 4.30pm
at Manchester Central Library (First Floor), St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK Tel. +44 (0)161 234 1983

This mini conference is a part of the ‘WWI’s Hidden Voices’ exhibition offering an afternoon of presentations and discussions offering the most critical perspectives on World War I in any current public forum. The speakers will expose the full extent of involvement from the British colonies in World War I, the impact the war had on those regions, its legacy for those countries and cultural representation of the war. Sessions include:

The West Indies join the War by Washington Alcott
Women’s Perspectives from East Africa by Susan Chieni Cookson
Cultural Representation of World War One and other wars by Kooj Chuhan
Teaching Hidden Histories in Schools by Dipali Das
Community Research from a ‘Southern’ Perspective by Southern Voices Continue reading

Video Preview for Manchester World War I’s Hidden Voices incl. The Poppy Retake

‘The Poppy Retake’ video art installation by Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan is the focus for a new short film about the upcoming Manchester World War I exhibition titled World War I’s Hidden Voices which launches on Weds 6th December 2017 at the amazing Central Library building in the heart of Manchester.

‘The Poppy Retake’ is partnering with the extensive ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire’ set of educational graphic panels by Southern Voices to create the exhibition, which runs from 7th December 2017 – 24th February 2018.  Key details below: Continue reading

The Gift Of India poem by Sarojini Naidu

Rani will dramatise a reading of the poem by Sarojini Naidu

Rani Moorthy

At the exhibition launch of World War I’s Hidden Voices (6th December – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER) the Manchester actress Rani Moorthy will perform a dramatised reading of a powerful poem reflecting on the effects of the First World War from an Indian and colonised country perspective.  She will be accompanied by musician Jaydev Mistry and also VJ projections by Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan.  The poem is by Sarojini Naidu and is titled The Gift Of India, written in 1915 while the war was ravaging.

The exhibition features The Poppy Retake art installation by Kooj Chuhan, the launch event will be on Weds 6th December from 5.30pm and the performance and speakers begin at 6.30pm.  More information at www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake .  The event is free but registration is strongly advised at www.hiddenvoicesww1.eventbrite.co.uk .  #poppyretake

About Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time.  She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India) and was a prolific poet with over three books of published poems, highly praised by Rabindranath Tagore.  Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India. Continue reading