Crossing Footprints has developed a set of events focusing on Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival 8-12 June 2022. This year’s theme for the Festival is the history of climate change, for which Manchester has played a pivotal role as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution.
We’ve organised four events in solidarity with low income and racially marginalised communities, including a panel discussion ‘Climate Change is a Race and Migration Issue‘ followed by a powerful Bangladeshi theatre piece ‘GHOORNI‘ by Ayna Arts, both at Manchester Central Library on Friday 10th June from 6pm. Then on Saturday 11th June at 6.15pm the singer-songwriter Emmanuela Yogolelo from DR Congo will perform a music set focused on Climate Justice at Angel Meadow. Finally, throughout the Festival the ‘Climate Connections‘ set of short video films made mostly by low income and diverse communities in Oldham responding to climate change will be exhibited on a screen at Oldham Art Gallery, with an informal talk by project director Kooj Chuhan at 1pm, Saturday 11th June.
More details about our events for Climate Justice at Manchester Histories Festival below:
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.
Plus post-show Q+A including members of Manchester-based human rights organisation RAPAR (Refugee and Asylum Seeker Participatory Action Research) who work extensively on issues of asylum and refuge.
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.
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.
The Community Learning Festival 25th-27th July 2017 at MMU Brooks Building (Birley Fields Campus) is set up to celebrate the diversity of learning happening in the local area https://birleycommunityfestival.wordpress.com/ . It includes a lot of consciousness-raising activities and possibilities for activism towards progressive goals. The Poppy Retake installation is set up there in a compact version, supporting the talk by Southern Voices about Colonialism and WWI, and also Kooj (me) will be delivering a session about using video for community activism with references to The Poppy Retake installation.
The installation looks strong, here is how it looked yesterday (some components might be added today – trying to keep playful with trying things out here):
A year ago today, a dear friend of mine died of cancer. She was old but not that old and youthful in spirit, her name was Jaya Graves who I will miss dearly. Her death at the time was overshadowed by the far more devastating loss of my own son just 10 days earlier, and its taken me until now to put this all too brief post up.
I first met Jaya in the late 90’s as part of some activities supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in Manchester. She later became involved on the management committee and then as occasional collaborator with the artists’ collective that I had founded, Virtual Migrants www.virtualmigrants.net and we used to meet at the Southern Voices office at St Peters House Church and Chaplaincy.
In 2003, while she was a member of the Manchester Museum Community Advisory Panel, I was commissioned to create a series of video works for permanent installation in the at that time new galleries being built, and one of the videos was of Jaya. Here it is along with another two from the same series of videos.
The more recent work on environment, climate change, race and migration was co-developed with her vital contribution, meeting at her house. It was Jaya who suggested we call the project The Centre Cannot Hold, from the WB Yeats poem. I valued our reflective, analytical, critical and good humoured chats enormously, as well as the ideas and knowledge she introduced me to. We were good friends even though we only met occasionally, and I miss her. I count her as an inspiration and influence on my work and my humanity. May she be carrying on in the way she always did so well wherever she may be.
PS: Regarding my dear son Naseeb, mentioned earlier, I have not felt the need to put a post about him on this website since there is a memorial website dedicated to him already at www.naseebchuhan.wordpress.com .
They are hosting a bold weekend of films on climate change, migration and the refugee crisis titled ‘Gimme Shelter’. Here is the blurb from Tyneside Cinema’s own website:
“It is predicted that climate change will have a big impact on human migration in the next 50 years, with millions set to be displaced by shoreline erosion, coastal flooding, intensifying drought and further agricultural disruption.
Tyneside Cinema aims to inform and spark discussion through a curated programme focusing on the urgency of action on climate change as well as its very real connection to the current refugee crisis. The programme contextualises these issues and will cultivate a better understanding of the reasons behind human displacement and will see filmmakers joined by leading experts to discuss the connection between climate change, natural disasters and migration.
Join us after the screening for a special panel discussion with;
– Filmmaker and artist Kooj Chuhan, whose recent films have focused on climate-linked migration
– Professor Tahseen Jafry, whose work in Glasgow focuses on climate and international development aid
– Durham University-based Professor Andrew Baldwin, one of the world’s leading academics on climate change and migration.”
Is the devastation of our climate forcing increased migration and is it projected to worsen in the future?
A new film shows how recent research linking climate change with migration has strengthened our understanding of this enormously, and how artists have begun to articulate this in human terms. In stark contrast virtually no mention was made of migration in the Paris climate summit agreements. A leading panel explores the underlying issues and asks whether and how migration should be made more visible across public and policy agendas on climate change?
Linking climate change with migration event includes speakers:
Richard Black, leading scholar at SOAS on migration in the context of climate change Zita Holbourne, community, union and human rights activist, writer, artist and curator; co-founder of Black Activists Rising Against Cuts Andrew Baldwin, chair of international Climate Change and Migration research network based at Durham University Alex Randall, UK Climate Change and Migration Coalition Kooj Chuhan, artist, filmmaker and curator of the ‘Footprint Modulation’ exhibition exploring climate migration and justice
+ Public launch and screening of the film ‘Crossing Footprints: Human Migration and the Environment’ by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media, about both the Human Migration and The Environment Conference and the Footprint Modulation art exhibition www.metaceptive.net/footprint-modulation
Chaired by Dr Helen Adams, researcher on human interactions with environmental change at Kings College Continue reading →
Buy This v3 – video installation art by Kooj Chuhan
The event is the culmination and conclusion of two innovative, multidisciplinary five-year research programmes, generously supported by the Leverhulme Trust. It will showcase the work of these two programmes and celebrate their achievements.
It will have an academic focus with four themed panels: ‘Home and Away’; ‘Lost and Found’; ‘Coming and Going’ and ‘Remembering and Forgetting’. Both programmes will present research in the panel discussions and the audience will have the opportunity to engage in debate around these themes.
Alongside the event itself, there will be extensive displays of work from each programme in the form of project posters, photo-essays and publication displays; artist’s pieces from the Doh Mix Meh Up exhibit; and an exhibition by the Royal Geographical Society that will display a selection of their extensive archival holdings.
Buy This v3
Refugees and ‘third-world’ migrants bring with them intimate and undervalued knowledge about climate change. ‘Buy This’ juxtaposes such voices on one screen against another, over-saturated with colliding imagery of wars, colonial struggles, environmental upheaval and UK racism, overlaid with scrolling news messages.
Earlier this year I was mentored by Roger Graef to develop a documentary project (still progressing) which was a pretty condensed and rigorous experience. His 50-year career includes a number of ground-breaking achievements, directly influenced policing, criminal justice and social policy, and which earned him a BAFTA fellowship in 2004 and a lifetime achievement award at Sheffield DocFest in 2014.
I was pleased to see two critical items in it, items 2 and 3 in his list:
2 we need more foreign stories.
Not just about countries in extremis. In the past, there were many programme strands that specialised in foreign coverage, like europa, Under the Sun, Granada’s Disappearing World and Correspondent. Its successor The BBC’s This World was a foavirte for me to make films for and to watch, but it had many more slots. Channel 4’s excellent Unreported World is only a commercial half hour. BBC4 used to have lots of foreign docs but no longer has the money for them.
Today’s resistance to stories even from Northern Ireland and Europe as well as further afield leaves huge holes in our knowledge of the world. It feeds the ignorance of diplomats and politicians about countries like Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan – with disastrous consequences.
Currently the radically different versions of news on US, Russian and Ukrainian television and websites reflect the bias i referred to above. Closer to home is the so-called debate about Europe in the runup to the elections. If you don’t have alternative reliable sources like documentaries, you believe the fragments of what you see from politicians with an agenda. And you fill in the gaps with your own prejudices. Continue reading →