Akwaaba! (A greeting from Ghana meanimg 'Hello and welcome').
From an expertly hand crafted home built in a village on a western shore on the African coast, to a perilous existence in the sugar cane fields of the Caribbean, to the cold cobbled streets of an ever changing Britain. Millions of lives - chained up, brutalised, removed or lost in translation and transportation., All for the want of perishable products consumed by a greed filled, but -'civilised'- Europe. What did it all produce? Wealth for some that liked the gun - but less fun for the rest.
Teenagers killing and creating crime, there is nothing new about these times. Disrespecting the right to live and forgive, people taking more than they can give. Malcolm X talked about pigeons and roosting - so we all could admit when we are feeling a bruising.
In addition to those advertised in my new season brochure, I am also doing a series of 'Freedom' workshops. These will specifically explore the massive human impact of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade that stole innovation, land and people. Surprisingly they will contain elements of upliftment and fun.
Connecting ancestral strands that link the past to the present, the facts and the feelings, I attempt to generate confident footsteps for a less fearful future. These worships will provide inspiration and knowledge that feed the imagination. A mix of images, objects, aromas and sounds will assist us on this journey, a new passport to an open world, a safe space, examining how profit and power were made and where they are displayed.
Using a multi-sensory approach I’ll encourage and engage participants to take a journey of personal and cultural identity based on their own experiences. I provide a body of creative activities exploring the power of the music, words and rhythms that weave a tapestry of my African and Caribbean heritage to the roots of British society, unfolding my strong understanding of the arts based around family, food, faith and friendship.
As part of African History Season I want to reflect on these issues and use them as a way of asking new and interesting questions and finding some answers. How do we deal with personal and global issues of humanity and inhumanity? What are our birthrights? Where we feel we belong? What do we respect? Where is our protection? How do we really survive? What are we proud to provide?