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.

Remembering Jaya Graves

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.

There is more information about that project, titled Rekindle, at www.metaceptive.net/rekindle-interactive-museum-object-stories .

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.

'Rekindle' Interactive Museum Object StoriesPS: 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 .

 

Footprint Modulation’s Launch through a Lens

The Launch through a lens: Footprint Modulation’s Launch by local photographer Simone Rudolphi

Footprint Modulation had its preview and launch night on Thursday 4th June at Durham Art Gallery (DLI). The evening was not what you might typically expect from a launch for an art exhibition, starting with the relaxed and accessible manner Kooj Chuhan, the artistic-director and one of the artists exhibiting, spoke about the journey behind the exhibition and his artwork at the DLI. Kooj Chuhan’s work, titled Chamada From Chico Mendes, is an interactive piece in which visitors can play different resources like a musical instrument, ranging from bottled water to a mobile phone, to create different effects on the collage of documentary footage displayed in a mask image. Other speakers at the preview showed the range of partners involved in the exhibition, from grassroots climate change organisation Transition Durham to climate change researcher Dr Andrew Baldwin. The evening finished with moving poetry from Platform’s Sai Murray, and a beautiful impromptu song from Tracey Zengeni whose artwork will be on display at the Durham Miners’ Hall, rounding off a unique and affecting evening.