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.”
This Black History project website was officially launched on 21st June at the fantastic event at Z-Arts. In addition to the amazing exhibition and the array of speakers, performances and the film showing, there was Kooj Chuhan (Metaceptive Media) who presented this website to the audience.
The key things about this website are:
Design – using a style that looks professional and clear but does not look corporate, over technological or austere. I wanted it to reflect a sense of warmth and community, along with the Pan-African background colours reflecting perspectives that were so central to Nana’s beliefs and work.
Home Page – this is a snapshot of the content that is on the website, as well as creating a portrait reflecting Nana’s life and work. It uses a graphic magazine-style format including an image slider so that there are 9 image-links directly from the home page to key parts of the website plus the link to the 100 Great Black Britons website.
Functionality – the site has an easy to navigate menu system, and directly from the home page you can see the range of material that is available – the different kinds of information as well as downloads and video.
Content – the website contains 18 web-pages describing different aspects of Nana’s life and work; 21 video interviews; various PDF downloads including the magazine; the keynote film “Celebrating Nana Bonsu”; a photographic archive; and a simple blog of news updates.
Social media – each page of the website has little icons at the bottom that can be clicked to immediately share that page via Facebook or Twitter. There are continually visible Facebook, Twitter and YouTube symbols at the top of the website which lead to First Cuts own pages that can be liked or followed for future updates and support.
Comments – people who visit the website can add their comments to any page if they wish. This gives the website the opportunity for different views and perspectives on Nana Bonsu and the subject matter to be expressed.
Fully optimised for search engines – so that Google and the rest can index and locate the website easily when anyone searches for information about Nana.