See calendar for events, performances and workshops.
Snapshots of Equality
This spring, FIPA’s community arts project with disabled adults and children is inspired by a giant of literature, the revolutionary poet Kazi Nazrul Islam, who challenged fascism, oppression and persecution. Islam’s poem, Human Being, honours equality whilst attacking ignorance and bigotry.
The Create Project adults in Tower Hamlets and children from Beacon Hill Academy in Thurrock will produce art objects of Bangladeshi symbols and motifs for the Boishaki Mela in Tower Hamlets (12 May) and the VIP launch of Thurrock Art Trail (31 May) at High House Production Park in Purfleet, framed within a commissioned public art display from four Thurrock artists. Flag pennants, carried to represent a flowing river, will have calligraphy of extracts of Nazrul’s poem written in Bengali and English. The sides of Bengali river boats will outline maps of Bangladesh on which artwork will be attached. Rivers, boats, flowers, crops, weather and the impact of rising water levels on land erosion will be explored and interpreted through these objects. Leading the procession of participants will be the character of Nazrul on stilts.
Objects created will be displayed during the Thurrock Art Trail. Images of these will also be uploaded in an online display on FIPA’s website as well as on a Facebook page.
Snapshots of Equality is funded by Arts Council England and Tower Hamlets.
FIPA is conducting workshops with 220 school children to create headdresses to depict animals the children will perform in Britten’s Noye’s Fludd.
Southend Boys' and Girls' Choirs have been awarded a grant by Arts Council England, with financial support from other trusts and organisations, for a project to celebrate the centenary of the birth of composer Benjamin Britten. Britten was the first President of the Southend Boys' Choir from 1970 until his death in 1976, a position which was then taken by his lifelong partner Sir Peter Pears.
The choirs will join with local schools, youth orchestras, the professional musicians of the Britten Sinfonia, and professional soloists and director to perform Britten's children's opera Noye's Fludde.
The performances will take place in Southend and Tilbury, and will culminate in a performance in London's Southwark Cathedral - the venue for the first London performance of this work in 1958. International conductor Jonathan Willcocks will conduct the performance in Southwark Cathedral.
This project is supported by Arts Council England, Britten Pears Foundation, David Willcocks Music Trust, Essex Community Foundation, Fowler Smith & Jones Charitable Trust, Glossop Family Trust, John Lewis Partnership Music Matters Scheme, Pinpoint Create, ROSCA.
British South Asian Theatre Memories
FIPA has been awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a project that will explore the history of British South Asian Theatre since the 1970s. The one year oral history project uncovers a treasure of memories from key practitioners in the world of British South Asian Theatre, and will explore the local history of Asian communities in Britain. It celebrates how Asian culture has contributed to our wider society through popular forms of music, dance and drama as well as exploring more sensitive issues such as racism and diversity in the UK over the past 57 years.
This project will involve volunteers from Essex and London. They will be involved in recording and digitizing histories from early playwrights and directors, to be made accessible to the public in an online collection. The volunteers will be given training in oral history techniques and the opportunity to help organise exhibitions at Thameside Complex in Grays, Slack Space in Colchester, SOAS, University of London and Contact Theatre, Manchester.
Avaes Mohammad, writer, poet and performer of the younger generation, will lead learning workshops. Mary-Ann Connolly, Creative Producer and Founder of Essex based Pinpoint Create, will bring her teacher training skills in structuring workshop models for Continuous Professional Development sessions with teachers.
Jameer Ali, Director of FIPA, explained the importance of the award: “This project will mean volunteers will be able to delve deeper into the past and origins of British South Asian Theatre in Britain. They will be able to uncover key stories and significant events, for example that of the first established and still running South Asian theatre group Tara Arts, which was set up in direct response to the racist murder of a 17 year old Sikh boy from Southall, West London, in 1976. They will then be able to trace these stories right up to today’s exceptionally popular Bollywood inspired productions.”
If you live in Essex or London and are interested in participating and learning about this project please contact FIPA on 07846 614691 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to Jatinder Verma, Artistic Director of Tara Arts, that inspired this project and for support from Thurrock Council, Slack Space, Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre, SOAS, Contact Theatre and Avaes Mohammad.
British South Asian Theatre Memories is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Partners include Thurrock Council, Pinpoint Create, Hindu Cultural and Heritage Centre, Contact Theatre and SOAS.