Thanks to our generous crowdfunders, we’ve made some great plans for East Voices, the next stage of our ongoing East storytelling project. We’re particularly excited to be partnering with BSK London and Numbi Arts to bring storytelling and story-sharing to an even wider range of people. The big idea behind East Voices is to test and then make available ways of working online, something we’ve never done with East outside of documenting our work on the East Archive. This approach allows us to continue doing our work of using stories to connect people and build bridges between communities, even as the pandemic drags on. That will all get underway soon. Watch this space!
Our crowdfunding campaign raised £4850, thanks to you! So East Online is on! Information on events will be posted here and to our mailing list. Those of you who opted for rewards will get them soon.
We had to stop everything at the beginning of lockdown, including our fundraising. We applied for emergency funding but didn’t get it. We’re holding fire on our touring show Mobile Incitement. But, with so many people isolated by coronavirus and its knock-on effects, this is absolutely the right time for our storytelling project, East.
The whole East project is about bringing people together, creating links between different communities, and sharing stories and songs. It’s about friendship, sharing and multiculturalism, and the way songs and stories can help us deal with what the world throws at us. It’s not on a huge scale and may not sound grand – it certainly doesn’t seem to appeal much to major funders – but we believe it’s very valuable work. East London is home to an extraordinarily diverse range of people, but many folks don’t really know others outside their own communities, at least not socially. It’s also a place where wealth and poverty, privilege and marginalisation, and indeed tolerance and bigotry, sit side by side. And it’s a place facing many threats and challenges that would benefit from greater solidarity and co-operation. The need to build bridges, share experiences and learn from others is clear. We think that the exchange of stories and songs, and, more importantly, the learning and re-telling of each other’s stories and songs, is a richly rewarding way to address this need.
But, although lockdown is easing, our normal format – bringing people together around a table with food and singing and stories – is still a long way from being viable. So we’ve come up with a plan to move the project online. Some of it is straightforward, such as adding to our online archive so as to make more material available in the absence of live events, but some is more exploratory. We’re not exactly sure how best to reconfigure our gatherings but we have lots of ideas to try, and by the end of this project we’ll be able to take our work forward in new ways that will be valuable even when live events are possible again. “Resilience” is a word that is perhaps overused at the moment, but that’s exactly what this particular stage in the life of East is about.
We’ve launched a crowdfunding appeal to make all this happen. It only seems right for a project so embedded in our communities to be supported by our communities. Please take a look at our video and then click through to our crowdfunding page.
If you can give, please do. But whether or not you donate, do please spread the word. It may sound like a cliche, but it really does make a difference!
Help us tell the real story of our country’s history…
With politicians across the world trying to twist history to serve their own ends, we, the people, need to tell our own stories. That’s why Daedalus Theatre Company and The Black Smock Band are working with Ovalhouse Theatre, students at Queen Mary, University of London and local residents wherever we vist, to develop an exciting new project: Gerrard Winstanley’s True and Righteous Mobile Incitement Unit.
Part gig, part theatre, part political meeting, part public participation project, it will tour the country with songs and stories of dissent and rebellion… and an invitation to speak up and get involved. There’ll also be a website where we and the public can share ideas, texts and songs, and discuss England’s radical past, present and future.
Developed over the last few years under the working title of The Radical History Project, the piece centres on the Mobile Incitement Unit, a kind of portable, interactive installation, containing an archive, props and costumes, materials for making placards and writing protest songs, a miniature field for enacting land rights issues, tea-making facilities and much more besides. But we need to crowd-fund £2,000 to build it.
Please consider making a donation. Everything helps, however small! And, unless you want to be anonymous, you’ll be credited as a funder (or a sponsor for amounts over £250).
Go on, click the button below. You know you want to.
Left to right: Farah Naz, Shamim Azad, Paul Burgess and Sef Townend. Photo credit: Indigo
East‘s behind-the-scenes organisational team met at Rich Mix to plan the next stages of the project. What started as a simple, short-term community storytelling project (led by Daedalus and Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, and supported by Rich Mix, the Arts Council and Apples and Snakes) has grown. With further support from the Arts Council plus some crowd-funding, we’re now making an online archive of our stories (and some songs) and working out how to support our storytelling group’s desire to do something longer-term, while also dealing with several offshoots of the project, including our work on radical history (which will probably now be treated as a separate project) and possible work with local schools and community centres. Oh and the events we’re planning as an offshoot of A Season of Bangla Drama. They’ll be in April. Watch this space…
All of which explains why the meeting was about three and a half hours long. We got through a lot of tea, but were very restrained and shared just one piece of cake between us.
You know where this is going.
It’s taken ages. The Charity Commission. HMRC. Many, many forms to fill in. Lots of help from the awesome ITC. But we got there.
Now, probably, most people looking at this site are penniless artists. We don’t expect those people to give anything, of course (unless they really, really want to). But there may be people in a position to help. Why? We have to apply for funding for each project. It’s a lot of work and sometimes we’re successful, sometimes we’re not. Either way, project-by-project funding only goes so far. We don’t only want to exist when we’re doing a specific project. We’ve got the ongoing projects like the Radical Performance Reading Group and the East storytellers, and there’s all the research and development that needs to happen before we’re ready to start writing funding applications…
So if you can throw some pennies our way (or even throw some pennies our way on a monthly basis) here’s an attractive purple button to take you to our fund-raising page…
Scenes from 68* Years is an amazing new script by Hannah Khalil about the lives of Palestinians in the shadow of occupation. The world premiere will be at the Arcola Theatre next year, as long as funds are raised…! If you can help, however small (or large) the amount, please do!
Here’s the link: