Video art and documentary exhibition connects wars, colonialism and games, focusing on World War I. Launches 18th April.

The Poppy Retake video art installation connecting wars, colonialism, gamesTHE POPPY RETAKE is a new video art installation by Kooj Chuhan with an alternative take on World War I by connecting wars, colonialism, games with the involvement and impact on European Colonies.  Its going to premiere at the fantastic Z-arts centre gallery on Tues 18th April from 6pm, and will be on show there for nearly two weeks.  There are full details at www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake including of the opening preview night.  Here is an introductory trailer for the work:

Essential details for The Poppy Retake:

at Z-Arts Gallery, 19-28 April 2017
335 Stretford Road Manchester M15 5ZA   0161 226 1912
Open daily 9am-9pm except Saturday 9am-5pm and Sunday closed

PREVIEW: Tues 18th April 6pm
Speakers: Susan Chieni, Kirit Patel and others / Poetry: Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi / Music: Serge Tebu & Emmanuela Yogolelo
FREE ENTRY but booking advised: www.poppyretakeshadows.eventbrite.co.uk

WORKSHOP + ARTIST’S TALK: Sat 22nd April 2pm – with Southern voices members, and the artist Kooj Chuhan
FREE ENTRY but booking advised: www.shadowspoppyworkshop.eventbrite.co.uk

Will wars ever end?  Was World War One’s ‘Lest We Forget’ a deluded slogan by Europeans  who endured enormous suffering yet ignored even greater calamities for their colonies?  Is war in fact the default future human addiction as global economics, culture and inequality spell more conflict forever?

The Poppy Retake is a new piece of video installation art by Kooj Chuhan which poses these questions.  The artist Kooj uses dramatic sequences of imagery that mix aspects of culture today and recent conflicts with world war one and the historical realities for people in previous colonies such as India, East Africa, The West Indies and Nigeria.

Who knows that the first and last shots of World War One were fired not in Europe, but in Africa?  Or that 1.5 million soldiers from India fought for the British?  The installation will be exhibited together with an extensive series of documentary history panels created by Southern Voices, titled ‘From the Shadows of War and Empire’.  In all this will present a unique exhibition taking an African and South Asian perspective on World War One and the role of the British colonies within it.

Art that can re-interpret, re-situate, connecting wars, colonialism, games

Kooj hopes to get people to shift from the usual and massive stereotypical icons of World War I and understand its part in the ongoing process that has got us where we are today, and how young people are influenced and co-opted into cynical acceptance of conflict yet remain oblivious to colonial histories and geopolitical power interests.  This war was fuelled by rivalry based much on competing colonial portfolios between European countries, and colonies were enormously affected in critical ways during and after the war.

However, Kooj is quick to point out that, “As an artist my job is not to stuff a load of history down people’s throats, but to draw out a human experience in simple and metaphoric ways that bring people closer to the underlying meanings and hidden agendas of the war.”

The Poppy Retake installation depicts a never ending loop which we can’t get out of, played through selected characters from today and from history especially the ww1 period focusing on narratives that have often been suppressed such as schoolteacher John MacLean from Scotland who was instrumental in the Clyde revolts during and after WWI, or Indian revolutionaries such as Kartar Singh Sarabha, or the many women from East Africa whose families died from a famine made worse by European demands for resources to support the war. Within the installation we encounter these people and events but we remain stuck in a continual loop of wars, colonialism, which appears to have no end, driven along by a background musical tempo which plays with ideas of nationalism, patriotism, dissidence, loss and war game videos.

Full details about The Poppy Retake and its connecting of wars, colonialism and games at www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake

Historical Documentary Exhibition ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire’ by Southern Voices

Alongside The Poppy Retake installation will be a set of educational panels titled ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire’ created by Southern Voices about the issues around World War 1 from the perspective of the colonies.

2014 marked 100 years since the start of the World War One (WW1).  In a very real way, this was the first global conflict, with war between the European Empires drawing in well over 100 countries.

This project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, examines the involvement of the British colonies (India, West Indies, Nigeria and East Africa) in WW1 and the impact the war had on those countries.  Southern Voices look at European imperialism, the devastating losses on the colonies’ own ‘home fronts’ and subsequent strengthening movements for self-rule and independence.

The impact and views of the people in the ‘colonised countries’ are either neglected or absent in commemorative events.  This exhibition provides a more balanced account of this global war than is commonly available or known and adds to the connecting of wars, colonialism and wider contexts.

Full details at www.southernvoices.org

Launch of Footprint Modulation – art exhibition exploring climate migration

FOOTPRINT MODULATION
An exhibition of art and interventions exploring climate change, global justice and human displacement across five venues in Durham, UK.
5th June – 5th July 2015 
www.footprintmodulation.net

FOOTPRINT MODULATION_horizontalPromoWide2text_750x184Exhibition Preview and Launch
Thursday 4th June, 6pm-8pm at Durham Art Gallery   www.dlidurham.org.uk

The preview evening’s gathering will include presentations by Kooj Chuhan (artistic director), Maya Chowdhry (co-producer), Dr Andrew Baldwin (Geography Dept, Durham University) and selected artists.  Launching an art exhibition exploring climate migration and displacement,  includes live poetry by Sai Murray, short screening + more to be announced…

You can join this event on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1385392818458056/

The exhibition runs 5th June – 5th July 2015 at five venues:
DURHAM ART GALLERY / ORIENTAL MUSEUM / MINERS HALL / EMPTY SHOP HQ / DURHAM UNIVERSITY
+ Special Events Weekend 27th-29th June

Artworks and contributions from:
SHAHIDUL ALAM : PLATFORM (LONDON) : KOOJ CHUHAN : MAYA CHOWDHRY : MAZAHER : TRACEY ZENGENI : APU CHOWDHURY : TRANSITION DURHAM : DILLER, SCOFIDIO + RENFRO : UK CLIMATE CHANGE & MIGRATION COALITION : MIKA LAIHO : SAI MURRAY & SELINA NWULU : DAVE DOUGLASS : NIGEL HULETT : JUDY PRICE & ANDREW CONIO : GEOGRAPHY@DURHAM UNI

A Metaceptive project in partnership with the international conference ‘Human Migration and the Environment: Futures, Politics and Invention’ at Durham University 28th June – 1st July 2015 www.durhamconference.eu

Sai Murray to read some poetry at this event

Sai Murray to read some poetry at this event

An exhibition exploring climate migration:

Popular ideas of climate change rarely connect with migration even though migration is probably the largest human consequence of climate change. The creative work presented here moves on from often didactic climate-art approaches from a decade ago without ducking strong critiques, and harnesses fresh perspectives from migrants and global voices.

Artists and activists at all levels from internationally acclaimed to local and emerging, and from countries including Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Iran, Brazil and Australia are involved in this exhibition exploring climate migration. Footprint Modulation culminates in a fantastic weekend of public performance, film screenings and discussions involving artists, activists, performers, community members and researchers, and which dovetails neatly into the final conference at Durham University.

Artistic director, curation and project management – Kooj (Kuljit Chuhan) of Metaceptive Projects and Media.
Collaborative research partner and conference chair – Dr Andrew Baldwin, Geography Dept, Durham University.
Artistic producer and transmedia consultant – Maya Chowdhry.

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Maria Benevides on Eco-Brazil, Chico Mendes, Forests and Water: live link confirmed

Maria Benevides on Eco-Brazil, Chico Mendes, Forests and Water

Maria Benevides

The exhibition opening for ‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ will talk using live video with Maria Benevides on Eco-Brazil, Chico Mendes, Forests and Water on Saturday 28th February 2015 at Global Grooves Arts Centre (MAP).  This will bring some of the realities that people in Brazil are currently facing direct to the audience at the event, where the audience will be able to ask questions chaired by the poet Sai Murray who has worked for some years on issues of climate justice and is the MC for the event.

Chico Mendes, Forests and Water – the context for a digital art work

‘Chamada From Chico Mendes’ is a digital art work by Kooj Chuhan made up of art and documentary video, imagery, poetry and sound from across the world – full details at www.metaceptive.net/chamada . Visitors encounter a range of objects which they can play like instruments, which then spark off visuals, music and words from guest artists, film-makers and environmental activists.  Kooj describes it as an “exhibition within an installation” because of the wide range of material that the audience can view and interact with.

Its 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.  “Chamada” means a ‘call to all’ in Portuguese, and the exhibition is about other voices contributing their parallel experience to that of Chico Mendes.

During the evening event, which includes live performance, guided tour, poetry and food, Maria will talk to us live from Brazil and will discuss:

– What are the important issues for climate change in Brazil?
– How is Chico Mendes is understood in Brazil?
– What influence did he have?
– Which other people are doing that kind of work now?
– What are the difficulties right now for people doing this kind of work?
– How serious are the water shortages and what are the future issues that they raise?

If you can’t make it to the event, maybe because you are too far away, the event will be webcast live at 7.30pm GMT (UK time).  You will be able to watch it on ANY device that can play a YouTube video, and you will be able to type in any comments or questions live during the event.  The web address for the webcast is: http://metaceptive.net/chamada/live-webcast/ or directly from this YouTube page https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRjDjx-TjE0 .

About Maria Benevides:

Maria Benevides is a Brazilian journalist working for NGOs, research institutions and think thanks on media relations and content production related to environmental issues. She has previously worked as a producer for the BBC World Service and the BBC Media Action in London.  She also acted as a UNHCR spokesperson in Angola, UNDP’s press officer in Brazil, IRIN’s editor in South Africa and Head of Communications for the British Embassy in Brazil. Her continuing interests are in green economy, sustainable development, the Amazon forest and the people living there.

video - legacy of chico mendes

Videos about Chico Mendes and Wangari Maathai now online:

There is a great video about Chico Mendes as told by his close collaborator Marcos Afonso now online:
http://metaceptive.net/chamada/chico-mendes/
. This is accompanied by an excellent article ‘Martyr of the Amazon: The legacy of Chico Mendes’ by Kate Evans / CIFOR, well worth the read.  “At first I thought I was fighting to save the rubber trees; then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest.  Now I realise I am fighting for humanity,” Mendes famously said.

Also now online is a trailer for the film ‘Taking Root’ about Wangari Maathai, the activist who went on to become the first environmentalist and also the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize (2004): watch it at http://metaceptive.net/chamada/register-to-attend/#taking-root .Taking-Root-Signature-image

The Forest Code Observatory

http://www.observatorioflorestal.org.br – Forest Code Observatory: This is a network of NGOs and institutions that joined to monitor the implementation of the new Brazilian Forest Code and Quartzo (Maria Benevides’ own company) has created and has been managing the contents of the website and social media since it was founded, two and a half years ago. Maria’s talk will touch on the work of this network.

Guest artists, film-makers and activists

This exhibition and project involves a range of contributions from across the globe. They include Sarawut Chutiwongpeti (Thailand), Badrul Alam and Bangladesh Krishok Federation, Heiko Thiele and Zwischenzeit e.V. (Germany), Marcella Haddad (Brazil), Shaikh Mohir Uddin & Rural Visual Journalism Network at Drik  (Bangladesh), Fuyumi Labre Lopez (Uruguay/Spain), Milda Lembertaite / Amelia Prazak (Lithuania/Switzerland), Victor Steffensen and the Living Knowledge Place (Australia), Nigel Hulett (Zimbabwe), Ali Pretty and Kinetika (UK), Marian Osman (Somalia) with ‘Democracy Now!’ (USA),  Maya Chowdhry (UK), Julia Davenport (UK), Jose Ignacio Lopez Ramirez-Gaston (Peru/Spain).  Selected media from these contributors will be watchable on extra screens in the exhibition.  Percussion loops produced by 17 young musicians from the Future Leaders carnival arts training programme by Global Grooves.  READ MORE ABOUT THE GUEST ARTISTS

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

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

A free one-day exhibition and performance programme exploring the role of the arts in understanding, expressing and experiencing diaspora.

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.

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ is a one-day international art exhibition and performance programme featuring artists and artworks selected from an open call entitled ‘Exploring Diaspora through the Arts’. The event brings together artist works, photography, film, spoken word poetry, theatre and a panel discussion as a way of exploring the varied and multifaceted experiences of those around the world who have moved from home to make a new life elsewhere.

Diasporas exist globally and include people with layered and diverse experiences. Art provides a means to express these complexities and creates a platform for alternative narratives, which often challenge existing power structures. Art also invites the viewer to engage with these narratives at a personal level and interpret the subject for themselves. The range of media and creative approaches on show here are as diverse as the people and stories being told.

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ is delivered by the Oxford Diasporas Programme with support from Old Fire Station Arts.
The exhibition is curated by artist and curator, Sunil Shah.
It is supported by the Oxford Diasporas Programme and hosted by The Old Fire Station, aims to bring together artists, scholars, students and the general public to explore aesthetic manifestations and representations of diasporas, and reflect on what the arts contribute to diaspora studies. It also seeks to provide a platform for established and newly emerging artists to share, showcase, and sell their work.

The three winning entries for the ODP Photography Competition will also be displayed at this event.

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.

There is so much around us to do with our environment, how we consume things, how people try and change things, and how big businesses get in the way. Chico’s story is universal, so the installation wants to show material from different people about other ways that these kinds of things happen in different parts of the world. We are especially interested in indigenous rights and issues for poorer communities.  The exhibition will be called “Chamada From Chico Mendes” (“Chamada” means “a call to all” in Portuguese).

This is a video art project that links carnival vibes with environmental campaigns, driven by people and groups from different places.  Read more about Chico Mendes: www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/20/brazil-salutes-chico-mendes-25-years-after-murder .

There will be posts about this work on the blog as the project develops, and there is an Open Call to any Film-makers or Video Artists, or anyone with images or footage to contribute, at www.metaceptive.net/chamada-open-call .  The way to contact us about the project if you are interested to get involved is via the form at www.metaceptive.net/chamada-contact .

There is also a special invitation to members of the Future Leaders carnival arts training programme by Global Grooves, who can use the same contact form above.

A project by Kooj Chuhan & Metaceptive in partnership with Global Grooves, with support from Arts Council of England and Youth Music.

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