Artists collaborate for international online festival

Published: 24 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Exploring the body through performance and opera: Bahzad Sulaiman Credit: Christoph Holz

Leicester-based ArtReach has commissioned artists aged under 30 from across Europe to create collaborative works of art for an online event, Journeys Festival International.

Maddie Smart, executive artistic producer at ArtReach, explained, “it’s been amazing to bring together these unique international collaborations to explore global cultures and responses to freedom, migration and European identity.

“We’re thrilled to be working with artists from across Europe to share powerful stories and perspectives through new digital artworks that will be presented alongside this year’s festival programme.

“We’ve teamed up artists to work together from different backgrounds and artistic disciplines to showcase new international talent and create some very exciting work.”

Mandla Rae has curated Freedom of Movement?, a digital exhibition exploring different perspectives of feeling trapped either side of the English Channel. Collaborators include UK-based Theatre of Sanctuary, Stand up and Be Counted theatre company and performance artist Pankaj Tiwari, originally from India and now based in Holland.

Bahzad Sulaiman, a Kurdish performance artist and sculptor, will explore the body's mass in isolation through performance and opera with London-based researcher and soundscape artist Betül Aksu who is searching for hope as she looks back on her life and her journeys.

London-based refugee company Phosphoros Theatre will create Sun Up, Rain Falls, River Rises, a series of audio narratives to listen to at sunrise, after the rain and walking by water. It was written by Mohamed Abdu, Goitom Fesshaye and Syed Haleem Najibi in collaboration with Dawn Harrison. They will have support from Suba Das, HighTide’s artistic director, as a dramaturg.

The full programme will be announced in August. Journeys Festival International will run from Monday 28 September until Sunday 18 October.