Cultural Resistance & Creative Protest

Across the globe and across centuries, ordinary people living under conditions of oppression and censorship have adapted their creativity and culture in order to resist, protest and survive.

 

Song has been used to build solidarity, textiles to pass forbidden messages, and dance to build courage. From the Cultural Revolution to Nazi Germany, from the Occupied Territories of Palestine to Apartheid South Africa, ordinary folk have used imagination, creative skills and determined ingenuity to resist and protest their oppression and overcome

myriad injustices and persecutions.

We’re working with a group of community producers from Balsall Heath to design and deliver six public arts events that celebrate this universal cultural heritage. Want to get involved?

 

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South African's dancing the protest dance, the Toyi-Toyi

Public Events

 

Join us for a kite-making workshop led by young artist Hassan Rahmani and organised by a group of local Community Producers as part of our newest project, Cultural Resistance & Creative Protest. 

 

Inspired by the use of kites in Afghanistan for sending messages that are otherwise forbidden or ignored by those in power, we invite you to write a message on your kite that communicates something you’d like to see changed in Balsall Heath. 

 

We’ll then walk to a local park to fly these messages in our neighbourhood skies, sparking conversation with passers-by whilst enjoying tasty Afghan treats.

Kite Making & Flying Workshop

Saturday 12th February, 2 - 4.30pm

Arrive promptly. No booking required. All ages. Free.

Join us in the cafe and around Balsall Heath for impromptu dances of the dance we choreographed that takes inspiration from South African Gumboots dances and the histories of the right to protest, including a critique of the current Police Crime and Sentencing Bill 
 

Flag and Map Making Workshop

Saturday 12th March, 11am - 1pm

Drop in. No booking required. All ages. Free.

Join us in the cafe and around Balsall Heath for impromutu dances of the dance we choreographed that takes inspiration from South African Gumboots dances and the histories of the right to protest, including a critique of the current Police Crime and Sentencing Bill 
 

Live and Fight

Saturday 9th April, various times

Join artist Farwa Moledina & The GAP for a relaxed afternoon of embroidery and conversation on the theme of creative resistance.

In this free workshop, you will:

  • learn basic embroidery techniques

  • design and stitch a visual symbol of resistance to be added onto our collective scarf artwork

  • learn about examples of how people from around the world have used embroidery and scarves as a means of cultural and creative resistance

  • have conversations whilst crafting about the topics raised

Ages 12+

All materials provided

No experience necessary

Attendees will be expected to stay for the whole event. (Please let us know in advance if you may require some support overseeing younger children to enable you to fully participate.)

Stiching Resistance

Saturday 12th March, 11am - 1pm

Booking required (CLICK HERE) . Ages 12+. Free.

 

Get Involved

We’re looking for 12 people from the Balsall Heath community to form a group of community producers to design and deliver six public arts events that celebrate this universal cultural heritage.

Phase 1, Kites - Starting Wednesday 19th Jan 2022 (finished)

For the first phase of the project, our very own Hassan Rahmani will be guiding the community producers in exploring the culture of kite making and kite flying in Afghanistan. For centuries, Afghan people have used kites to communicate hidden messages between themselves across social and physical boundaries, and to publicly declare demands for peace and justice in the skies. How might we understand this and apply this to our lives?

Phase 2, Maps and Flags - Starting Wednesday 16th Feb 2022 (finished)

Maps have often been used as an exercise in power, imperialism and dispossession - a quick glance of the changing borders of much of Africa, India and Palestine will make that obvious. However, they have also been used by everyday citizens to resist, remember and reclaim. Join us for phase 2 of our Creative Protest and Cultural Resistance programme where we will be working with artist Shaheen Ahmed to explore how flags and maps have been used as a means of resistance.

Phase 3, Dance and Defiance - Starting Wednesday 16th March 2022 (finished)

Starting Wednesday we are working with artist Sipho Eric Ndlovu exploring how dance has been used in African social movements against colonialism! We'll be using this to experiment and create our own 'dances' that responds to challenges of today.

Phase 4, Scarves for Resistance - Starting Wednesday 13th April 2022

Working with artist Farwa Molendina to look at how embroidery and symbols have played a role in resistance. Exploring the histories of the keffiyah and headscarves, and then creating our own symbols to embroider onto fabric.

Phase 5, Music & Morale - Starting Wednesday 18th May 2022

Celebrating Sanctuary present Zimbabwean Musician and singer Millicent Chapanda, and singer / songwriter Katy Bennett (In Her Shoes), to explore ways of using music and song as a form of protest across cultures. We will then make and sing our own song!

What you will do:

You will work with a group and be supported by The GAP Arts Team to research the topic and unearth examples of creative protest and cultural resistance, including from the histories of local communities. You will work with artists to try your hand at some of these practices, and consider how some of them might be adapted for contemporary use. You will design and produce a series of 6 public events and activities throughout 2022 for your neighbours, friends and families, sharing new knowledge and skills, and, above all, celebrating our shared human resilience.

We have some funding to assist with expenses to enable participating, including for translation.

NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY

If you would like to be part of the Community Producers group,

please contact Arron at arron@thegapartsproject.co.uk 

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