To mark International Refugee Week 2019, HOME’s Horizons Festival, held in association with Community Arts North West (CAN) and taking place Sat 15 – Fri 21 June 2019, will celebrate with a full programme of theatre, film, art, performance, workshops and debate featuring artists and performers from all over the globe who are now living and working in Greater Manchester.
The festival features exhibitions, films, theatre shows, workshops, panel discussions, DJ sets and a club night and free events every night in the bar, as
well as a Sanctuary Souk global market place on the launch day full of free workshops and participatory arts events throughout the building.
“Horizons Festival is a representation of the international arts community within our city and of the creativity of the world,” says Anne Louise Kershaw, HOME’s Community & Outreach Programme Producer. “CAN and HOME continue to support emerging talent, nurture new projects, and showcase artists who have a long-standing reputation in their field. It is a celebration and it is political, subversive and joyful, and everyone is welcome.”
Amongst the highlights in the festival are Under Canvas, an installation and audio exploration of stories of childbirth in refugee camps presented by Take Back Theatre. Set up by actor Julie Hesmondhalgh, writer Becx Harrison and visual artist Grant Archer in October 2015, Take Back Theatre is an artistic response to the politics of austerity.
Also running all week is Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution exhibition, showcasing artwork from the online archive of the same name which brings together the creative output of the Syrian people curated by a team of people who can no longer return to their home country.
Taking place in HOME’s Theatre 1 space on Saturday 15 June is Welcome to the UK, presented by PSYCHEdelight and The Bunker, and directed by Sophie NL Besse. Exploring successive governments’ hostile environment approach to the refugee crisis, Welcome to the UK is a stinging satire performed by an ensemble of 14 refugees with a Sudanese, Italian, Syrian, Gambian, Iranian, Iraqi, Afghani, Zimbabwe, Armenian and French touch whose Borderline, set in the Calais Jungle refugee camp, toured nationally and internationally to great acclaim.
Amongst the musical highlights is a double-bill from CAN Artists-in-Residence Amani Community Choir and the Manchester International Roots Orchestra, also on Saturday 15 June, in the galleries, artist Ana Lucía Cueves presents An Enduring Struggle For Justice, an exhibition inspired by her fight for justice following the kidnap and torture of her brother in Guatemala, which is accompanied by a screening of her film The Echo of Pain of the Many on Wednesday 19 June.
On Monday 19 June is Sir Peh Talway (Sword Above My Head), a Made @ HOME commission, which follows Fiza’s story from Lahore to Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, then to Manchester, and finally the right to remain. We witness abuse from her father, her husbands, her community and others, until finally Fiza can be
free, can be herself, can live without a sword above her head, can dance. Tonight we see that dance, and celebrate that freedom.
On Tuesday 18 June there is a screening of HOME Artist Film’s Tribeca Film Festival award-winner Island of the Hungry Ghosts. Filmed on Christmas Island by director Gabrielle Brady, the island is Australia’s biggest offshore refugee detention centre. The film was described by Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian as “Powerful… a lyrical, dream-like journey into darkness.”
Also on Tuesday 18 June, DECLARATION!, a Made @ HOME commission, takes you on a musical journey specially composed and performed by Tagné Tebu. The piece takes as its starting point the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and the UK’s approach to it.
Musician and composer Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble performed to much acclaim and a sell-out audience at last year’s festival at HOME, and they return on Thursday 20 June. This intimate event will intersperse Jaberi’s hauntingly beautiful Sufi music compositions, with whirling Dervish dance and discussion about Rumi’s spiritual philosophy and Persia’s Sufi music traditions. This event forms part of a national tour supported through CAN’s Talent Development and funded by Arts Council England. Seyed Ali Jaberi has released five albums; two of which received four-star reviews in Songlines.
The festival closes on Saturday 21 June with a Global Rave – and everyone is invited! From Kinshasa to Iran, we bring you Techno Soukouss and Psy-Trance as we transform Theatre 2 into a two-hour night club for the world! Adding to the party atmosphere, Irfan Rainy is spinning the decks in the café bar until late.
“We are proud to co-produce Horizons Festival 2019 with HOME,” says Katherine Rogers, Exodus Creative Producer at of Community Arts North West. “This is part of our core work supporting artists from refugee and new migrant backgrounds to make significant and lasting contributions to the UK arts scene. We are equally proud to celebrate the culture, creativity, energy and resilience of Greater Manchester’s new migrant communities as part of national Refugee Week.
“This year marks Community Art North West’s 40th anniversary, and we see this as celebration of the artists with whom we have collaborated for many years. Seeing their creativity at the heart of one of Manchester’s great cultural institutions is an important landmark. Amongst the many artists profiled through our artist-in-residence scheme are Amani Creatives, Manchester International Roots Orchestra and current associates, Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel
Ensemble, who will embark on a national concert tour including the Edinburgh Fringe, following their Horizons Festival performance. Through our partnership with HOME and our connections with artists and communities, we hope to see this work go from strength to strength. Come and join us to celebrate Manchester and the nation’s incredible diversity.”
Tickets start at £5, and a large number of events in the festival are free; more information on the festival: https://homemcr.org/event/horizons-festival-2019