A groundbreaking new website documenting migration in and out of the North West of England is to be officially launched online on 5 December.
Join the #MigrationStories NW project teams for the online launch of the Migration Stories interactive digital map, documenting stories of individuals who have migrated in and out of our region from the Roman period to the 20th century. Hear from those involved in the project about what they discovered during their research and be among the first to get a glimpse of the map on the project website.
So much is and has been happening due to climate change in Bangladesh over the years but so few know about it. There’s so much to say that needs to be out there and much louder than it is. Crossing Footprints are pleased to have co-developed and be supporting this Saturday’s Festival at Northmoor Library Oldham a great event with songs, stories and craftivism connecting with the Climate Emergency and a strong Bangladeshi viewpoint from some amazing artists. If you’re anywhere nearby come on down, and pass the word on.
What’s on at the Climate Connections Community Festival?
The event features Ahad Ullah Shah and Kayes Muktadir singing Bangla songs about climate change co-written with Murad Chowdhury who will also give some musical support. Then there is Apu Chowdhury from Ayna Arts who will deliver some storytelling and drama, and will also be the MC for the day. Also we have the amazing visual and craft climate activist Rabia Begum running a craftivism workshop. The local street will be closed off to be a play street so families and kids can bring their outdoor toys to play with.
Would you like to research the story of someone who migrated any time from ancient history to WWII in North West England? The Migration Stories project will provide training, good support and expenses, it’ll get started in early May 2022 and grow gently over a few months.
This is a 3 year project unearthing 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. In this first year Crossing Footprints will be recruiting 8-15 voluntary community researchers to each explore local archives to find individual stories, at least one per volunteer, possibly more if time allows and there’s enough material. Manchester-based author Mickela Sonola will initially be working alongside our director Kooj Chuhan to run this project, and we are honoured to have local historian Washington Alcott as a community research associate for Migration Stories North West.
Can words, pictures and social media empower people to protect our environment? A project exploring some ways in which local libraries, communities and artists in Oldham and Bremen are making climate connections using educative methods and creative media.
An online event Weds 19th May, 6.30pm (UK) / 7.30pm (Germany)
Announcing the winning entries from the Climate Connections competition
Presenting the work produced by diverse groups in Oldham (UK) and Bremen (Germany) in the first phase of the Climate Connections project
How do local people relate to and voice their feelings about climate change? Can this expression combine with social media to have some impact on climate change? This event brings together artists, activists, libraries and community members to explore these questions. If you are interested in communities and climate change, also the arts and social media, then this informal sharing event is for you.
A one-day symposium about socially engaged arts and cultural democracy titled Uncommon Ground crumbled upon the slightest scrutiny, and left a good number of the audience disappointed and let down to say the least. In advance of the event which took place at The Lowry on 22nd March 2018, little information apart from two underwhelming personal blog posts were given as lead-in material. The morning session involved four presentations, and NO discussion or Q&A of any kind. Tweets were welcomed to be responded to later – I wondered if they have replaced real nuanced discussion?
It’s the Economy, stupid!
By mid-afternoon it was clear that nobody was going to bring up the economics of inequality or within the arts, nor how arts can have an impact on such structural inequality. An embarrassing omission given that there is a common understanding of inequality being first and foremostly related to economic and political power. In most symposia or conferences, a subject is usually given some broad sweep overview of the history and key pieces of work and debates that have developed over the decades, plus some critical and fresh perspectives on the gaps – those areas which still need addressing. This kind of basic context was completely absent at Uncommon Ground, an insulting slap in the face for those who have tirelessly worked in the field and against the grain for those decades.
The Launch through a lens: Footprint Modulation’s Launch by local photographer Simone Rudolphi
Footprint Modulation had its preview and launch night on Thursday 4th June at Durham Art Gallery (DLI). The evening was not what you might typically expect from a launch for an art exhibition, starting with the relaxed and accessible manner Kooj Chuhan, the artistic-director and one of the artists exhibiting, spoke about the journey behind the exhibition and his artwork at the DLI. Kooj Chuhan’s work, titled Chamada From Chico Mendes, is an interactive piece in which visitors can play different resources like a musical instrument, ranging from bottled water to a mobile phone, to create different effects on the collage of documentary footage displayed in a mask image. Other speakers at the preview showed the range of partners involved in the exhibition, from grassroots climate change organisation Transition Durham to climate change researcher Dr Andrew Baldwin. The evening finished with moving poetry from Platform’s Sai Murray, and a beautiful impromptu song from Tracey Zengeni whose artwork will be on display at the Durham Miners’ Hall, rounding off a unique and affecting evening.
A lively documentary profile of the inspiring national apprenticeship and training programme in carnival arts has just been released: Future Leaders – a new film by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. Anyone interested in arts, young people, communities, carnival, music, dance, visual arts, multi-cultural development and so on should find this interesting.
Full information about this fantastic arts programme which is run by Global Grooves is at www.futureleaders.org.uk . Video created by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media. [This video is also published on the Global Grooves YouTube channel where a lot more people have seen it – at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7uaoWYpcc ]
Includes an interview with Steve White – who was the drummer with the Style Council (Paul Weller) and other worthwhile bands. Continue reading →
Kooj at Metaceptive Media was commissioned by First Cut to design and build the website for the HLF-funded ‘Nana Bonsu Oral History Project‘, which he has been working on for over 6 months beginning with a short training course he delivered in autumn 2013. Finally, the website has now gone live and will be officially launched at a vibrant event at Manchester’s Z-Arts on Saturday 21st June 2014.
Nana Bonsu, also known as Beresford ‘Berry’ Edwards, was of huge importance to Britain’s African community, especially in Manchester which became his home. This oral history project highlights his role in initiatives such as the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination, trade unions, social justice and equal opportunities. Nana’s work, committment and contribution is now nationally recognised by his inclusion in the list of 100 Great Black Britons.
Full details about the project and the event this Saturday are available from the website itself (of course!), at www.nanabonsu.com – please leave some comments on the site if you visit it, or send Kooj a message if you like.