The inspiration for Intercultured came from my passion for working in communities. The time I have spent within the refugee/sanctuary seeker community over the last 12 years has opened up my world both individually and artistically.
Through working with BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Seekers Support and Advice Network) I saw a myriad of artists, poets and musicians sideline their passions for Live Art
I saw possibilities and opportunities to highlight and champion creative talent within these communities: with poems, songs, dance, creative arts and speakers telling a different story to the bleak narrative of a war torn asylum seeker and refugee.
During the Make work R& D process a group met weekly where we openly discussed issues around migration, history, live performance, diversity, health and wellbeing, safe spaces, death and rebirth and struggling with identity and purpose in life. We talked about religion, about losing identity and having to create almost a new personality, struggling with living in the UK, love, losses and friends left behind. It was a huge eye opener and sometimes it was horrible looking through the eyes of displacement.
We brought in guest artists with a variety of skills to run online drama workshops, sessions on using apps and technology, story- telling, poetry, research and development of films, artwork and candid conversations.
Our plans changed drastically due to Covid and lock down. The group met online and it was challenging to say the least. The depth of the conversations was amazing but sometimes overwhelmingly emotional. It was obvious due to the lockdown that people were struggling mentally and emotionally and had outbursts and small breakdowns.
We created short films, small animations, digitised self portraits, poetry and stories which was collated and turned into the Intercultured Book.
In the end, we had a variety of speakers, poets, singers, artists and content creators who were inspired to look for alternative places/spaces to continue self-growth once our sessions ended.
This was the inspiration to run a pilot online Intercultured Festival .
Working hand in hand with community, I pulled together a short programme of artistic collaborations with artists, community and speakers which we ran over a period of 8 days. Intercultured was a huge success and will be back on the scene for 2021.