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/

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 .

 

Tyneside Cinema Climate Migration weekend screens Footprint Modulation film

'Climate Refugees' feature documentary at Tyneside Cinema

‘Climate Refugees’ feature documentary

Tyneside cinema is to screen the ‘Footprint Modulation‘ documentary followed by a showing of the feature film ‘Climate Refugees’ on 17th March 2017, 8.15pm.  Full details at https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/films/view/climate-refugees .

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.

Gimme Shelter at Tyneside CinemaJoin 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.”

More about the Gimme Shelter weekend festival at https://www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/whats-on/gimme-shelter  and at http://climatemigration.org.uk/climate-migration-film-festival/ . Continue reading

EVENT: Linking climate change with migration Film screening and panel discussion 7/3/16 London

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?

Crossing Footprints - Linking Climate Change with MigrationMon 7th March 2016, at 6.30pm
Room K2.31 Nash Lecture Theatre, 2nd Floor, King’s Building, King’s College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS
Book your FREE place at: http://linking-climate-change-with-migration.eventbrite.co.uk/

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

Kooj Chuhan’s video art at Royal Geographical Society: ‘Buy This v3’

The Impact Of Diasporas is a day-long event on Thurs 17th September 2015, including Kooj Chuhan’s video art at Royal Geographical Society titled ‘Buy This v3’ alongside key seminar presentations and a set of other video art works all under the umbrella title ‘Doh Mix Meh Up.  http://www.migration.ox.ac.uk/odp/impact-of-diasporas-event.shtml

Buy This v3 - video installation art by Kooj Chuhan

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.

For more about the Buy This v3, see http://metaceptive.net/buy-this-v3-video-installation-art/

Doh Mix Meh Up

Continue reading

Manifesto for Documentary by Roger Graef

Manifesto for Documentary by Roger GraefEarlier 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.

We now also have a manifesto for documentary by Roger Graef, an excellent outline of 10 key changes needed to invogorate worthwhile documentary productions with meaning and depth, available to read at https://sheffdocfest.com/articles/186-roger-graef-s-manifesto .

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

Future Leaders – a new film by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media

A lively documentary profile of the inspiring national apprenticeship and training programme in carnival arts has just been released: Future Leaders – a new film by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media.  Anyone interested in arts, young people, communities, carnival, music, dance, visual arts, multi-cultural development and so on should find this interesting.

Full information about this fantastic arts programme which is run by Global Grooves is at www.futureleaders.org.uk .  Video created by Kooj Chuhan / Metaceptive Media.  [This video is also published on the Global Grooves YouTube channel where a lot more people have seen it – at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7uaoWYpcc ]

Includes an interview with Steve White – who was the drummer with the Style Council (Paul Weller) and other worthwhile bands. Continue reading

Doh Mix Meh Up exhibition in Oxford presents video art by Kooj Chuhan

This weekend on 1st Nov 2014 the ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ Exhibition in Oxford presents video art by Kooj Chuhan / Virtual Migrants, titled “Buy This (v3)” on race-migration-climate issues which is itself detailed at this page: http://metaceptive.net/buy-this-v3-video-installation-art .

The ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ exhibition

Doh Mix Meh Up exhibition in Oxford presents video art by Kooj Chuhan

More info:

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ – Diaspora and Identity in Art
A free one-day exhibition and performance programme exploring the role of the arts in understanding, expressing and experiencing diaspora.

https://www.facebook.com/events/649558785140456

1st November 2014, 3pm – 10pm
Panel Discussion:  ‘Exploring Diaspora through the Arts’, 6pm
Drinks reception, 7pm

Venue:  Old Fire Station,  40 George St, Oxford, OX1 2AQ

Featured artists: Pablo & Roxana Allison, Raymond Antrobus, Phoebe Boswell, Rosa Couloute, Scarlett Crawford, David Creedon, Afra Dekie, Sharelly Emanuelson, JJ Bola, Justice in Motion, Belinda Kazeem-Kaminski, Lynette Letic, Caroline Molloy, Melissa Tandiwe Myambo, Miyuki Okuyama, Kajal Nisha Patel, Sharon Paz, Mikaela Toczek, Kooj Chuhan/Virtual Migrants and Clare Walter.
Curated by: Sunil Shah. Continue reading

Interactive Digital Carnival Installation – a call to filmmakers, artists, poets, environmental activists

[ see the updated info on this project at www.metaceptive.net/chamada ]

Connecting with environmental activism and climate justice, to be created by artist Kooj Chuhan, ‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ will be driven by an open call for contributions of video, images, poetry, sounds, and anything that could work with the theme.

ChamadaFromChicoMendes_v1crop_800x250To view the OPEN CALL – please click HERE .  DEADLINE EXTENDED: Please contact us by October 31st 2014 to express your interest.

The artist Kooj Chuhan (UK / India) is creating an interactive digital carnival installation connecting Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes with environmental justice issues across the world. It will be made from audio and visual material from many people and it will use interactive objects and projections that visitors can actually ‘play’ like percussion.

The digital art exhibition will take place February 28th – March 21st 2015 at a new Carnival Arts Centre in Manchester (UK), run by Global Grooves.  We then intend to tour this installation to different galleries, exhibition venues and also public places including at carnival events.

What is the installation about?

The exhibition’s starting point is the powerful story of Chico Mendes, who was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist committed to protecting the Amazon’s ecosystem. He had opposition from industrialists and corrupt government officials, was jailed, fined and threatened, and just over 25 years ago he was eventually murdered but has now become a national hero in Brazil. Continue reading

Buy This (v3) by Kooj Chuhan – video installation art archived by Vtape (Toronto)

The 2-screen installation ‘Buy This (v3)’ created with support from Virtual Migrants as part of their Centre Cannot Hold ongoing exploration of climate imperialism, was re-formatted as a single screen artists’ video and toured Canada as part of the Monitor 9 programme by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto.  We now have this video installation art archived by Vtape, a non-profit distribution and resource centre in Toronto.  Vtape is the leading distributor for video art in Canada, established in 1980. They represent a collection of over 5000 titles, accessible to artists, curators and educators.

Buy This (v3) by Kooj Chuhan - video installation art archived by VtapeThe original ‘Buy This (v1) installation was more complex and interactive, exhibited at The Arnolfini in Bristol (2009) as a part of the ‘C Words’ exhibition about climate justice. This later non-interactive video-based version (v3) was premiered at the first Platforma Festival in December 2011 as a proper 2-screen installation followed by Manchester’s local Chorlton Arts Festival in 2012, and then in 2013 toured a few venues in Canada courtesy of South Asian Visual Arts Centre (Toronto) as part of Monitor 9 with the two screens compiled into a single screen for ease of exhibition, and then also at No.W.Here Gallery in London.

BuyThisV3_MG_7055_sAlthough this work has been screened as a single video stream, it is best viewed using two separate projectors as an installation because the intention is that the two screens loop at different rates so that the imagery juxtaposition continually changes.   Continue reading