We’ve been Instagram sharing reels from some of our artists, including East lead artists Sef Townsend, Shamim Azad and Paul Burgess, along with intros to artists such as Tasnim Siddiqa Amin, Hasan Ahmed and Farah Naz. Catch them on our Instagram feed, and maybe give us a follow!
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In the meantime, here’s the September issue.
Welcome to our September newsletter.
Firstly, we’d like to share our next spotlight on a member of the fantastic Dysbiosis team. This month we’re featuring Daedalus’s Assistant Producer/Director Tasnim Siddiqa Amin, a queer Bangladeshi-British visual artist, theatremaker and writer from East London. In her spotlight, Tasnim talks about the project and its relationship to her creative journey.
“I found it interesting how all of us with our different backgrounds came back to mythology, folklore or fantasy to creatively express that huge word “nature”. In an age of science where spirituality has largely been confined to organised religions it is interesting to me that when we think of nature we oppose it with science still which is a binary way of thinking, and so associate the unexplained and intangible with nature.”
While we prepare for the next stage of Dysbiosis, our journey through queer ecology and environmental justice at Queens Theatre Hornchurch, we’re introducing some of the amazing artists we’re privileged to work with on the project. First up is Kathryn Webb.
Tell us about yourself and your creative practice.
Hi! My name is Kathryn and I’m a queer, neurodivergent, working-class creative from Cranham. Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been into ‘making things’. In primary school, me and my bestie used to shoot our own version of Doctor Who, complete with ketchup blood, on a camcorder in his back garden. Nowadays my creative output spans theatre, film, poetry and anything in between. I’ve been mentored by Sky Arts, Creative England, Rianne Pictures, and made a short film for the BBC100 Project. My work stems from an interest in marginalised voices, folklore, and queerness. Previous theatre work has been staged at Theatre503, Arcola, Golden Goose, Pleasance, and Omnibus.
What does queer ecology mean to you?
To me, queer ecology is about questioning what we take for granted when we think of nature, science and reproduction. Unpacking the colonialism and white supremacy of the ‘truths’ we’ve been given and expanding our horizons to see beyond binaries. Nature is brimming with examples of queerness – it’s no joke that we’ve always been here and always will. Through this process, I’ve been empowered to challenge the notion that we exist to procreate.
Sef, Shamim and Paul from our very own East storytelling family will be performing in the lovely courtyard at Bow Arts next Sat. Do come along for a very entertaining hour of stories and music celebrating the diversity of our community.
There’ll be food tasters too (Covid-allowing!)
See you there?
We had a great time performing Mobile Incitement at the Freedom and Independence Theatre Festival, with some amazing audience feedback. We feel deep gratitude to the many people who made it happen but especially Kazi Ruksana Begum, Tower Hamlets Arts Development Officer, who is an absolute force of nature, making amazing things like this festival happen on tiny budgets, while calmly dealing with the Herculean task of coordinating lot of artists and companies, both professional and amateur. Big thanks also to Mushahed Ahmed, Jules Deering, Ali Campbell and everyone else.
Sef just did a fantastic interview on Jeanette Kwakye’s BBC London Radio show. You need to listen! It includes a clip from Michele Chowrimooto’s story, and some really brilliant observations from Sef about the role of storytelling, the importance of sharing stories across cultures, how the East Voices project works, and how to approach sharing your personal story for the first time.
Jeanette’s shows are great, but if you want to jump straight to Sef’s interview you can start at 01:36:38.
Go to East Archive for Michele’s story and many others.
Stories and songs from London’s East End communities and beyond. This online event celebrates the launch of East Voices Digital Series.
Since June, Daedalus Theatre Company, in partnership with Numbi Arts, Bishwo Shahitto Kendro and Rua Arts, has hosted workshops and collaborated with East Londoners and a host of guest artists, to gather stories and music. We’re excited to now launch a series of storytelling videos hosted on the East Archive.
We’re really excited to be teaming up with Sign for All for this workshop led by two amazing storytellers. Here are the details:
Date: Sat 9 October
Time: 10.30am – 12 noon
Location: Online via Zoom
What is it? A fun introduction to storytelling, exploring how we tell stories physically, with words and using BSL. This session will be BSL interpreted & facilitated by professional storyteller Sef Townsend and Deepa Shastri who is a Deaf theatre access consultant, BSL performer and presenter.
How to book: Contact email@example.com to book your place and get the Zoom link.
Sef Townsend is an extraordinary storyteller who we’re very lucky to have as a Daedalus associate artist. He’s been a lead artist on our East project since the start as well as advising on other projects.
His book London Folk Tales for Children, written with Anne Johnson, is a fantastic collection of stories old and new, reflecting the fascinating history and diverse make-up of the city. Get hold of a copy and have a read!
One of our associate artists, and a lead artist in the East storytelling project, is Shamim Azad. Shamim is an amazing creative force; a bilingual author and poet, and a key figure in UK-Bengali literary culture. A new poem by her is currently on display outside the Francis Crick Institute in London as part of A Drop of Hope. This is a project made in collaboration with Poet in the City, in which twelve poets were invited to write poems that reflect on the vaccination programme and the pandemic, partly in response to the words of people vaccinated at the institute, the volunteers working there and the surrounding communities.
You can find out more here: https://www.crick.ac.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/a-drop-of-hope