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

PLUS: Live poetry by Naomi Sumner Chan www.brushstrokeorder.co.uk

The documentary exhibition ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire‘ finally gives us a full picture of the vast involvement of people from colonised countries in World War One.  ‘The Poppy Retake‘ video art installation looks at how The Great War links with wider themes of war, colonialism, culture and coerced recruitment.  This mini conference is an afternoon of presentations and discussions with a range of speakers who will give us a deeper insight into some the themes from the exhibition.

The West Indies join the War
Washington Alcott, teacher and researcher specialising in African and Caribbean history, will look at the recruitment of West Indian soldiers to the global conflict and its impact on the islands.

Women’s Perspectives from East Africa
Susan Chieni Cookson, a Kenyan born high school teacher and lecturer who has a PhD in gender and education, will explore the impact of World War One on East Africa with the focus on women.

Cultural Representation of World War One and other wars
Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan, Indian-born filmmaker and digital artist, will look at some of the big arts projects that represent World War One, the influence of modern day media and how ‘The Poppy Retake’ came about.

Teaching Hidden Histories in Schools
Dipali Das, British Bengali writer and teacher, has been delivering workshops to primary school children based on Southern Voices’ World War One materials and will discuss her teaching experiences and outcomes.

Community Research from a ‘Southern’ Perspective
Southern Voices will present how they created this exhibition and the difficulties in getting the history ‘right’, plus examples of previous work.  They discuss why we need a ‘Southern Perspective’ at all?

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Mini-Conference flyerWorld War I’s Hidden Voices – an exhibition in two parts:
The documentary exhibition ‘From The Shadows Of War And Empire‘ by Southern Voices gives us a full picture of the vast involvement of people from colonised countries in World War One.
‘The Poppy Retake (v3)’ video art installation by Kuljit ‘Kooj’ Chuhan connects The Great War with wider themes of war, colonialism, culture and coerced recruitment.

On show 7th December 2017 – 24th February 2018

www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake

www.southernvoices.org

 

 

 

 

 

Manchester World War I

Manchester World War I

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’.

www.metaceptive.net/poppy-retake

 

From the Shadows of War and Empire

documentary exhibition by Southern Voices

Few know about how European powers brought colonies into World War I, took resources from these countries and took the war to ‘fronts’ outside Europe. An exhibition which finally tells this major part of the story from the colonies’ point of view. We focus on India, the West Indies, German and British East Africa, and Nigeria – the British Colonies.

Did you know that the first and last shots of World War One by ‘British’ forces were fired not in Europe, but in Africa? Or that 1.5 million soldiers from India fought for the British? The exhibition examines the impact of 1914-18 on these selected colonised countries from the viewpoint of the colonised peoples themselves – their situation as colonies, the impact of the war on them and on anti-colonial struggles. Accompanied by ‘The Poppy Retake’ art installation by Kooj Chuhan, this exhibition gives us incredible context and information about World War One’s Hidden Voices.

www.southernvoices.org

World War One's Hidden Voices - funder logosWorld War One's Hidden Voices - funder logosPlease share via Facebook
www.facebook.com/events/1660602353990894

 

Progressive media: Poster Film Collective in the 80s and other online pieces

Selected posts by Kooj Chuhan during July or so on Metaceptive’s Facebook page :

Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s

Whose World Is The World by Poster Film Collective progressive media in the 80s. Any parallels now? http://poster-collective.org.uk/whoseworld/index.php
These posters were often in the youth clubs and community centres that we worked in, running creative, campaigning and discussion activities focused on anti-racist and suppressed historical ideas and knowledge. They gave a continuity in the environment that the people who used the building could continue to reflect on after the activities and workshops, in an immediate and visual way without too much text clutter. I really think we need this kind of stuff again in our physical environment, maybe the digital world makes us forget these possibilities?

Migrant crisis: tackle the cause and not the symptom?

The Chance Or Choice report suggests long term answer lies in foreign policy.
http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/latest/news/842_new_research_shows_asylum_seekers_do_not_choose_to_come_to_the_uk
A key paragraph from the report:

refugeeCouncil_chanceOrChoice_1426518702

ADDRESSING THE CAUSES OF FORCED MIGRATION
Given the strength of evidence on the underlying causes of asylum flows, policy efforts should focus on the root causes of forced migration (conflict and human rights abuse) rather than policies intended to prevent and deter asylum seekers from arriving. This will require joined-up policy making at the UK and EU level in relation to the promotion of human rights, humanitarian action, development aid and trade and investment (Castles et al. 2003).
Download the full report here: http://www.refugeecouncil.org.uk/assets/0001/5702/rcchance.pdf
A detailed read but it makes sense – unlike most of the media reports.

Colonialism, Africa, Sustainable Food, Environment

How did ‪#‎colonialism‬ affect sustainable food in ‪#‎Africa‬? ‪#‎WalterRodney‬ explains, connecting ‪#‎race‬ with ‪#‎environment‬. Essential for raising political and cultural consciousness.
http://www.walterrodneyfoundation.org/12th-annual-walter-rodney-symposium-biographies/

Exhibition by Shahidul Alam on indigenous women’s rights

Posters in the meeting room where Kalpana and her comrades used to gather. Khagrachori. CHT. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Posters in the meeting room where Kalpana and her comrades used to gather. Khagrachori. CHT. Photo: Shahidul Alam/Drik/Majority World

Recent exhibition about Kalpana Chakma indigenous women’s rights activist in Bangladesh, by Shahidul Alam. Excellent!
Extract: “You had reminded us that a nation that fought oppression, could not rule by oppressing. That a people that fought for a language, could not triumph by suppressing another’s. That the martyrs who died, so we might be free, did not shed their blood, so we could become tyrants. That we who overcame the bullets and bayonets of soldiers, must never again be ruled through the barrel of a gun.”
http://www.shahidulnews.com/kalpanas-warriors – again, an example of artistic work towards cultural consciousness.

Murders of environmental activists in Brazil

Half the killings worldwide of ‪#‎conservation‬ ‪#‎activists‬ are in Brazil. Story of ‪#‎ChicoMendes‬ is inspiring http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/20/brazil-salutes-chico-mendes-25-years-after-murder   and vital to understand the continuing politics in Brazil today. Apart from this brief Guardian article I’d recommend reading the book “Fight For The Forest: Chico Mendes in His Own Words”.

Exxon-Mobil massively fund climate denial
Exxon-Mobil spent vast amounts of money over decades to promote ‪#‎climatedenial‬ . Can they be held to account? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/jul/08/exxon-climate-change-1981-climate-denier-funding

Amnesty International on Israel’s civilian targets:
New forensic 3d modelling by Amnesty International shows Israel’s targeting of civilians in Gaza; tools for truth are always needed and this is a well put together media clip – good work.

https://www.facebook.com/ajplusenglish/videos/595303030611208

Black Women Matter:
100 years ago, Thomas Rutling was buried in Harrogate – he spoke out against the brutalities still endured by Africans in America after slavery. 100 years later & we are still speaking out – there must be hope for the future.
https://www.facebook.com/forharriet/videos/910802722299848

Does ‪#‎film‬ industry in UK have ‪#‎institutionalracism‬ rearing its ugly head? http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/features/does-britain-have-a-problem-with-race-when-it-comes-to-film-distribution-10364511.html
Some important arguments put forward in this article.

Revolutionary poetry in Pakistan
Awarded ‪#‎LeninPeacePrize‬, twice nominated for ‪#‎NobelPeacePrize‬, imprisoned in Pakistan, spend time with Yasser Arafat during exile, was a journalist in Soviet Russia, married and English woman, wrote about African independence during a trip to Kenya… Faiz Ahmed Faiz, he was a revolutionary poet of huge stature. I think he really needs some wider recognition outside Urdu poetry circles. (see example video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRVEfc5zcoE)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faiz_Ahmad_Faiz

Royal Family’s ties with Hitler and the Nazi’s are finally revealed.
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/19/nazi-hitler-royal-family

Eye-opening video by the Quakers about the militarisation of schools, strongly related to national identity and foreign policy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgJ83yYIR1g