Migration Justice event featuring Declaration performance

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.

migration justice, rights and resistance feat. Declaration performance - at Partisan 25 Sept 2019

Justice, Rights and Resistance

at Partisan, 19 Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester M4 4FY
Doors open 6.30pm / event runs 7pm-9.30pm
Food and refreshments will be available to buy
Tickets £8 / £5 / Pay-what-you-can

>> Click HERE for Tickets <<

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.

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Poppy Retake at M-Shed Bristol 10th April-7th May

The Poppy Retake

 and other work exploring
Colonies, Militarism and WWI

At M Shed, Princes Wharf, Wapping Rd, Bristol BS1 4RN Tel:
0117 352 6600
From Weds 10th April until Tues 7th May 2019
Open Tuesday – Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays 10am-5pm (closed on all other Mondays)
https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/the-poppy-retake-from-the-shadows-of-war-and-empire/

The Poppy Retake at M-Shed

It’s great that we are about to have The Poppy Retake at M-Shed Museum on show for a month as a part of the Commemoration, Conflict and Conscience festival – see https://everydaylivesinwar.herts.ac.uk/ccc/ . Special thanks to the Remembering the Real World War I group, and also Tony T at Sweet Patootee www.sweetpatootee.co.uk for inviting the work to be shown. More about The Poppy Retake at http://metaceptive.net/poppy-retake/ but here’s a quick summary:

India, Africa, the West Indies, colonialism and recruitment, impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war explored by an exhibition of artistic and educational work.  Includes ‘The Poppy Retake’, video art by Kooj Chuhan weaving together colonial narratives, spirits from the dead and video war games.  We confront our connections with wars as recruitment and their impacts on people who had been colonised.  The documentary exhibition ‘From the Shadows of War and Empire’ by Southern Voices explores how European powers brought colonies into World War I, took resources from these countries and took the war to ‘fronts’ outside Europe.

The Poppy Retake workshop

‘World War I’s Hidden Voices’ Workshop

Saturday 27th April, 2pm-4pm at M-Shed. Free, no booking required.

Two critical presentations about the role of India, East Africa, Nigeria and the West Indies in WWI, including colonialism and recruitment, the impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war with discussion. 

Cultural Representations of World War One and other wars: how colonies are kept invisible by Kooj Chuhan

Colonial realities of WWI: uncovering the involvement and experience of peoples from British colonies by Dipali Das and Ruth Tait

The Great War of 1914 -1918 is usually seen as a ‘European War’. Though the war was fought between European countries, the fact they involved their colonies is mostly invisible. Recognition is usually framed as a praiseworthy ‘contribution’ rather than mass enforcement. This workshop will expose the full extent of involvement from the British colonies in World War I, the impact the war had on those regions, its legacy for those countries and cultural representation of the war

Artist’s talk + Guided tour of The Poppy Retake at M-Shed

At 1pm on Sunday 28th April Kooj Chuhan will walk and talk through the various work in The Poppy Retake and From The Shadows Of War And Empire as a ‘guided tour’. He will discuss the background context, how the project came about, and some ways in which this kind of work could develop further.

Cuts Of The Cloth dystopian play with projected visuals

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.”

Feedback and reviews about the play and also the strong visuals has been really good. List of reviews here:

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2019/jan/23/push-festival-review-home-manchester

https://northwestend.co.uk/index.php/professional-reviews/manchester/3843-cuts-of-the-cloth-home-manchester

http://www.caughtintheact.co.uk/cuts-of-the-cloth-review/

http://number9reviews.blogspot.com/2019/01/review-cuts-of-cloth-home-manchester.htm

https://theplaysthething.co.uk/2019/01/20/review-cuts-of-the-cloth-home-manchester-theatre-review/

https://5pillarsuk.com/2018/08/13/review-cuts-of-the-cloth-muslim-women-islamophobia-and-the-war-on-terror/

Transnational Justice: activism, practice, theory

Transnational Justice conference at Kings, LondonBefore talking about Transnational Justice let’s first remember the obvious, simply that we are ruled by laws. So the major kinds of injustice in the world must need to be addressed in partnership with progressive sectors of legal theory and practice. This is something which us creative activists do too little of.

Last month I was presenting the work I do at a very worthwhile conference on political and legal justice connecting with environment, economy, health, migration, equality, activism and arts, the Transnational Law Summit at King’s College London. More info about this is at www.transnationallawsummit.org .

Keynote presenters included Nobel peace prize laureate Shirin Ebadi and Dexter Dias QC. Panel presenters like myself included the well known ecoliteracy guru Fritjof Capra, Nick Flynn from Avaaz and Jannie Staffansson from the Saami Council. Well funded (and equally well dressed) the conference had the air of being high profile with the strong intention of supporting justice for the future.

Transnational Justice – game-change for climate justice?

Transnational Justice conference at Kings, LondonI’m not going to attempt a full review or critique of the conference, but the session I found really compelling was titled ‘Climate Change and Court Rooms’. Was this the beginning of major shifts in reparatory forces to gain justice for damage to communities and to counter climate change? Continue reading

MINI-CONFERENCE World War I’s Hidden Voices and Poppy Retake exhibition

World War I’s Hidden Voices MINI-CONFERENCE
Saturday 10th February 2018, 1pm – 4.30pm
at Manchester Central Library (First Floor), St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK    Tel. +44 (0)161 234 1983

Registration is strongly advised and completely FREE at https://conferencehiddenvoicesww1.eventbrite.co.uk

India, Africa, the West Indies, colonialism and recruitment, the impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war explored in a free afternoon conference.

Saturday 10th February 2018, 1pm – 4.30pm
at Manchester Central Library (First Floor), St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK Tel. +44 (0)161 234 1983

This mini conference is a part of the ‘WWI’s Hidden Voices’ exhibition offering an afternoon of presentations and discussions offering the most critical perspectives on World War I in any current public forum. The speakers will expose the full extent of involvement from the British colonies in World War I, the impact the war had on those regions, its legacy for those countries and cultural representation of the war. Sessions include:

The West Indies join the War by Washington Alcott
Women’s Perspectives from East Africa by Susan Chieni Cookson
Cultural Representation of World War One and other wars by Kooj Chuhan
Teaching Hidden Histories in Schools by Dipali Das
Community Research from a ‘Southern’ Perspective by Southern Voices Continue reading

Video Preview for Manchester World War I’s Hidden Voices incl. The Poppy Retake

‘The Poppy Retake’ video art installation by Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan is the focus for a new short film about the upcoming Manchester World War I exhibition titled World War I’s Hidden Voices which launches on Weds 6th December 2017 at the amazing Central Library building in the heart of Manchester.

‘The Poppy Retake’ is partnering with the extensive ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire’ set of educational graphic panels by Southern Voices to create the exhibition, which runs from 7th December 2017 – 24th February 2018.  Key details below: Continue reading

The Gift Of India poem by Sarojini Naidu

Rani will dramatise a reading of the poem by Sarojini Naidu

Rani Moorthy

At the exhibition launch of World War I’s Hidden Voices (6th December – CLICK HERE TO REGISTER) the Manchester actress Rani Moorthy will perform a dramatised reading of a powerful poem reflecting on the effects of the First World War from an Indian and colonised country perspective.  She will be accompanied by musician Jaydev Mistry and also VJ projections by Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan.  The poem is by Sarojini Naidu and is titled The Gift Of India, written in 1915 while the war was ravaging.

The exhibition features The Poppy Retake art installation by Kooj Chuhan, the launch event will be on Weds 6th December from 5.30pm and the performance and speakers begin at 6.30pm.  More information at www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake .  The event is free but registration is strongly advised at www.hiddenvoicesww1.eventbrite.co.uk .  #poppyretake

About Sarojini Naidu

Sarojini Naidu was a distinguished poet, renowned freedom fighter and one of the great orators of her time.  She was famously known as Bharatiya Kokila (The Nightingale of India) and was a prolific poet with over three books of published poems, highly praised by Rabindranath Tagore.  Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to become the President of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the governor of a state in India. Continue reading

World War One’s Hidden Voices: documentary and art in two parallel exhibitions

India, Africa, the West Indies, colonialism and recruitment, impacts of war and our ongoing culture of war explored in two parallel exhibitions under the title World War One’s Hidden Voices

World War One's Hidden Voices
The Poppy Retake (v3)
by Kooj Chuhan // From the Shadows of War and Empire by Southern Voices // #poppyretake

On show 7th December 2017 – 24th February 2018
at Manchester Central Library
(First Floor), St Peter’s Square, Manchester M2 5PD, UK // Opening times 9am-8pm Mon-Thurs and 9am-5pm Fri-Sat (Sunday closed) Tel. +44 (0)161 234 1983

OPENING NIGHT – 6th December 2017 5.30pm-7.30pm
including speakers Ahmed El-Hassan (Southern Voices) and Colette Williams (Mbari), plus live performance from Jaydev Mistry (music), Rani Moorthy (dramatised readings) and Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan (VJ projection) // First Floor exhibition from 5.30pm, then speakers and performance from 6.30pm on Ground Floor
Booking for this free event is strongly advised: www.hiddenvoicesww1.eventbrite.co.uk

MINI-CONFERENCE – 10th February 2018
thought-provoking talks, workshops, films and discussion for World War One’s Hidden Voices – full details to be announced www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake

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The Poppy RetakeTHE POPPY RETAKE (v3)

…colonial narratives, spirits from the dead and video war games…

video art installation by Kooj (Kuljit Singh Chuhan) – new version

Modern war propaganda began with World War I which obscured its pointlessness and deep colonial connections, while pretending to be the ‘war to end all wars’. This artwork explores coercion into war, involving an African woman working for a war-themed park. She finds herself caught between colonial narratives, spirits from the dead and video war games.

Since the end of WWI we have seen numerous wars with the majority in regions once colonised. Modern video gaming is now the epitome of obscuring both the horror and the colonial roots of much conflict. The Poppy Retake suggests our multiple connections with wars as forms of cultural recruitment but which impact mostly on people from ex-colonies. It extends the perspectives developed in the documentary exhibition ‘From The Shadows Of War and Empire’. Continue reading

The Poppy Retake at MMU Hulme Community Learning Festival

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):

The Poppy Retake at MMU Hulme Community Learning FestivalThe Poppy Retake at MMU Hulme Community Learning Festival The Poppy Retake at MMU Hulme Community Learning Festival

 

 

 

 

 

More about The Poppy Retake at http://metaceptive.net/poppy-retake/