Thursday, 21 July 2011

Check out "Lifting the Lid"

Recently sent info about this exciting new organisation Lifting the Lid, set up in Manchester by Kooj Chuhan and colleagues, exploring "radical ideas, approaches, histories". Seems like some potentially close links to SHAKE! here. See the first two of Lifting the Lid aims:

To develop and practice project activity through which:-

  • people can understand where the issues they have to deal with come from
  • people can explore possible tools to act on those issues by looking at examples from other places, histories and heritage....
Kooj was also a founder of artists' collective Virtual Migrants and has a long history of working on issues of race, asylum and refugee issues,  and grass-roots cultural projects. PLATFORM worked with Virtual Migrants on our C Words season at Arnolfini in 2009. Exciting!

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Rotimi's poem "Hey Stevie" presented to Doreen Lawrence

It was such a special moment last Thursday, when Rotimi Skyers and Nuha Baruti from SHAKE! presented a beautifully designed poster of Rotimi's poem to Doreen Lawrence at the Stephen Lawrence Centre.

Doreen was guest of honour at the SHAKE! Preview at The Albany in February, and was very struck by "Hey Stevie" and the way Ro performed it. She told us she'd love a copy for her wall, so we commissioned the wonderful Liquorice Fish to work with Ro on the design. You can listen to "Hey Stevie" here.

The framed poster in the exhibition space at SLC

Buy one and support SHAKE's development 
We have a limited edition of these beautiful A2 posters on high-quality paper, at £20 each p&p.
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Thursday, 7 July 2011

The Bus is launched in Tottenham!

On Tottenham Civic Day, 25th June, the day dawned damp. But we needn't have worried. The weather held and a good crowd enjoyed the full programme of outdoor performances, creative artists' stalls, and delicious barbecue that was laid on by the great staff at Bernie Grant Arts Centre

The Centre is the new home for PLATFORM's spectacular life-sized steel Bus, the Living Memorial to Ken Saro-Wiwa by Sokari Douglas Camp, which was launched at 1pm that day.

Two musicians playing talking drums led people to the Bus from the courtyard.  John Baraldi, the Centre's Chief Executive introduced the event, and there were speeches by the artist Sokari Douglas Camp, Ben Amunwa (Platform's Nigeria campaigner), local Friends of the Earth activists, and very movingly, Maria Saro-Wiwa, Ken's widow. Shake's very own Zena Edwards read her achingly beautiful "Photo of a Girl", inspired by a photograph taken in a village criss-crossed with pipelines in the Niger Delta by Ed Kashi. The speeches ended with Bruce Grove councillor Joseph Ejiofor, and an amazing performance on the Bus's rooftop barrels by Bawren Tavaziva, Artistic Director of Tavaziva Dance Company which is based at the Centre.

It was fantastic to see Jonathan from Shake! 2010 there. He'd come up from Lewisham with his parents and it was a great reunion for us. Jonathan came into Platform three days later to look at materials on Nigeria for some art projects he's developing. We're looking forward to working closely with Bernie Grant Arts Centre and artists-activists in the area during the next months, especially creating a Shake! course there, tailored for Tottenham...

See the video featuring Maria Saro-Wiwa
See photos from the day