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June 2014
» CINEMA Lab, Manchester - Recruitment: Performer, Choreographer
» HEART Placement - Beatrice Galloway

April 2014
» Creative Case NORTH Residency Announcement
» Rehearsals
» Pomegranate Tearoom

March 2014
» Creative Case Conversation Notes
» Our New Student Placement
» Creative Case North Seeding Event Newcastle
» Creative Case North Seeding Event Salford

February 2014
» The Creative Case NORTH Residencies
» Ten Years Being ZENDEH

January 2014
» Creative Case NORTH

October 2013
» Ovalhouse - You Might Also Like

August 2013
» Billingham International Folklore Festival

July 2013
» Be Our Next Associate

June 2013
» Heads Up

April 2013
» FLOCK Sale
» Recruitment - Laboratory
» Choreographer
» Dramaturg
» Stage Manager
» Photographer
» Casting

March 2013
» Farewell Becky

February 2013
» New Chair and Vice Chair
» Becky's Blog
» eclectic poem:
The Blinking Picture

» eclectic poem:
Record Shop Conversations


January 2013
» eclectic poem:
Unpacking The Case

ZENDEH BLOG

Welcome to the ZENDEH BLOG, the place to learn more about the day to day things that we do.


CINEMA Lab, Manchester - Recruitment: Performer, Choreographer

Performer

ZENDEH are seeking talented Performer to work with us on our research and development week on our next touring show CINEMA.

ZENDEH are an award winning touring theatre company with a national profile, NPO funded by Arts Council England 2012-2015.

Our next show CINEMA will be touring in May 2015, and ahead of this we will be working on the show in a range of settings and spaces nationally.

On the 19th of August 1978, in the southern city of Abadan, Iran, during the screening of a controversial film called Gavaznaha (The Deer), the Cinema Rex was set alight from within.

Four hundred people perished, to this day it is one of the largest terrorist atrocities committed against civilians.

Who are these 400, that got lost between the Secret Police and Revolutionaries?

We are seeking a talented and courageous performer to come and join us in exploring the character of a cat.

The research and development Laboratory week will be based in central Manchester Monday 7th - Friday 11th July 2014.

To apply please provide the following by email to recruitment@zendeh.com:

Up to date CV highlighting relevant experience;

Headshot in colour but B&W is acceptable;

Link to a video clip performing Miranda's monologue from the tempest Act 1 Scene 2;

Links to showreels are also welcome.

Deadline is 5pm Monday 23rd June 2014


Choreographer

ZENDEH are seeking talented Choreographer to work with us on our research and development week on our next touring show CINEMA.

ZENDEH are an award winning touring theatre company with a national profile, NPO funded by Arts Council England 2012-2015.

Our next show CINEMA will be touring in May 2015, and ahead of this we will be working on the show in a range of settings and spaces nationally.

On the 19th of August 1978, in the southern city of Abadan, Iran, during the screening of a controversial film called Gavaznaha (The Deer), the Cinema Rex was set alight from within.

Four hundred people perished, to this day it is one of the largest terrorist atrocities committed against civilians.

Who are these 400, that got lost between the Secret Police and Revolutionaries?

We are seeking a talented and courageous choreographer to come and join us in exploring the character of a cat.

The research and development Laboratory week will be based in central Manchester Monday 7th - Friday 11th July 2014.

To apply please provide the following by email to recruitment@zendeh.com:

Up to date CV highlighting relevant experience;

Link to a video clip of sample choreography inspired by Miranda's monologue from the tempest Act 1 Scene 2;

Links to showreels are also welcome.

Deadline is 5pm Monday 23rd June 2014.

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HEART Placement - Beatrice Galloway

I started on placement with ZENDEH at the beginning of their national tour of HEART in May. My time is now sadly drawing to a close as this is the final week on the tour. The ZENDEH family has welcomed me with open arms. They took me under their wing from the beginning, allowing me to grow and develop my skills as well-rounded Stage Manager.

My aim for this placement was to learn more about the function and structure of touring theatre companies, as well as build on my Stage Management skills acquired through studies. I believe I have accomplished this through putting my learnt skills into practice. I discovered new spaces such as The Lowry, The Beacon Arts Centre, and The OvalHouse; and rediscover familiar spaces such as the Tron Theatre and The Traverse - this time as a touring company coming into the venues.

My time as ASM for HEART has been spent helping out in rehearsals, aiding the company with the get-ins & outs, rigging, focusing, editing cues, and I have even been given the chance to operate the board for dress rehearsals and even a show or two! I feel that I have learnt a lot with my short time with ZENDEH, mainly gaining more confidence through practice and experience. I have also taken with me the importance of working with a strong and friendly team; it makes all the difference to work in a great environment.

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Creative Case NORTH Residency Announcement

Creative Case NORTH is a programme of sector-led activity exploring the Creative Case. At the heart of the programme is the exploration and development of partnership practice within the context of the Creative Case.

The Creative Case NORTH Residencies provide a new approach to commissioning, enabling exploration of partnership practice within a residency context, with the following aims:
» To support the development of new partnerships between creators and facilitators of artistic, cultural and participatory practice, and venues, spaces or organisations which engage the public in arts and cultural activity;
» To support the development of new partnerships across art forms, spectrums of scale, and levels of experience;
» To stimulate and support joint exploration of partnership working within the context of the Creative Case;
» To encourage a creative approach to exploring partnership models;
» To provide residency partners with an opportunity to take risks and experiment with a new idea, or exploration of process, without implications;
» To share the processes, findings and outcomes of the residencies with the wider arts and cultural sector, and public.

The residency partners will spend seven days together exploring partnership practice, recording and publically sharing their processes, conversations and findings online throughout the residency period 28 April - 14 May.

Following an open call for residency proposals, we are pleased to announce that the selected residencies are:
» Passing Places - Aidan Moesby and Visual Arts Rural Communities
» Spice and Space - The Dukes and The Love And Etiquette Foundation
» Divergency Mcr - STUN and hÅb
» REDACT - New Writing North and Lisa Matthews


Passing Places
» Aidan Moesby
» Janet Ross - VARC Visual Arts Rural Communities

Aidan Moesby (Artist) and Janet Ross (VARC) will explore the potential of a new partnership with real possibilities to make a positive difference to the practice of both partners. Through critical dialogue and reflection of current practices they will discuss the possibilities of realising tangible outcomes around their commitment to increasing accessibility to quality meaningful creative opportunities for diverse artists within a rural context.

Website: www.varc.org.uk/special-projects/passing-places
Tumblr: http://passing-places.tumblr.com/
Twitter: @Textartist / @PassingPlaces1 / @varc_arts


'Spice and Space'
Exploring the recipe for diversity and partnership
» The Dukes
» The Love and Etiquette Foundation

By immersing ourselves in each other's worlds, and making connections between our artists, collaborators, and those who work in our organisations, we will be exploring innovative approaches to new partnership working. We'll be asking: 'What are the best foundations to build this partnership with diversity and diverse practice at its centre?' and 'What are the big ideas and how would they best work in Lancashire?'

Blog: www.dukes-lancaster.org/blog
Facebook: www.facebook.com/dukeslancaster
Twitter: @thedukestheatre

Facebook: www.facebook.com/love.etiquette
Twitter: @LOVETIQUETTE


DivergencyMcr - Live Art and the Creative Case
STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North)
hÅb

An exploration into diversifying the northern artist base for live art and contemporary performance through database research, artform tools + strategies workshop and group go-see visit. STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North), a membership organisation dedicated to the development of UK Black and Asian Creatives, will come together with hÅb, a live art and contemporary performance development organisation, with a joint goal of encouraging new ways of telling more diverse stories for new audiences.

Website: http://stunlive.com/projects/creative-case/
Blog: http://divergencymcr.posthaven.com
Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/habmcr
Twitter: @stunlive / @hazardmcr / @warnmcr


REDACT
» New Writing North
» Lisa Matthews

Redact is a partnership between New Writing North and Lisa Matthews a poet with dyslexia who will be in-residence at New Writing North. Lisa Matthews will spend the residency experimenting with SpLD assistive software to create new poetry, she will also develop workshop techniques that she will use in a creative workshop with 6 non-dyslexic poets. Her own unique insight will result in new approaches to writing poetry and new poems, which will be presented on a project website alongside participant's reflections.

Twitter: @NewWritingNorth
Website: http://www.newwritingnorth.com
Blog: http://www.lisamatthewswriter.wordpress.com


Creative Case NORTH is a programme of sector led activity exploring the Creative Case for Diversity, developed by a consortium of arts and cultural organisations convened by Arts Council England from across the North area, including:

Creative Case NORTH Partners: ARC Stockton, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Contact Theatre, GemArts, STAY, ZENDEH.

Creative Case NORTH Critical Friends: Alchemy, Art House, Mind The Gap, Open Clasp, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

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Rehearsals

As I left the HEART rehearsals I passed a busker singing, "on another love, another love, all my tears have been used up, on another love". As the heartache, tragedy, passion and drama I had just watched stuck with me, the words of this song seemed beautifully poignant. Having read the script before I arrived, I loved the play but was unaware of how touching and engrossing I would find it. Combined with choreography and amazing acting, the words I had read came to life in a mesmerising way!

I have never been to a play rehearsal before, and was surprised by the amount of detail that goes into choreography. Every movement, of every part of the body, was considered, not just in terms of stage aesthetics but also what felt natural to the actors and honest to their characters. It is this attention to detail that enabled the movements to blend together drama and dance with organic emotions. I thought watching these moves being repeatedly explored and perfected would stop me becoming completely immersed in the final run through - how wrong I was! Whilst watching HEART I become so engrossed I not only forgot I was photographing the play, I forgot I was in Newcastle. Walking to the metro after the rehearsal didn't feel real, as I had the word pomegranate racing through my head. I cannot wait to see the play at Northern Stage, I know it will be truly amazing.

Sian Patterson, Student Placement

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Pomegranate Tearoom

On Wednesday 27th March Rachel Evans and Steven Gaythorpe of ZENDEH ran a poetry workshop at Quillams Tea Room, Newcastle, as part of our particpatory programme for HEART. In attendance were students from Newcastle University and Newcastle College.

After the event James Linton sent us some of the work he had produced during the workshop. It is published below.

This first piece was based on the words they received in a heart-shaped boxes.

As cold as marble lies my desire
The burning fire alights my betrayl
Haunted by lover's ghostly choir
Their voices sing in a lingering wail.

His second piece is inspired by a quote from the play: "my heart is like a pomegranate. The fruit forbidden to Adam."

Shielded under layers of juicy flesh,
lies a marble sculpture of a heart.
It began as a simple stone. Blunt, dull and crude.
Until my sculptor, my Adam, chipped away, polished me, sanded me down
with those holy hands of his.
But he went too far.
He tried to mould me into too similar of a replica,
he turned my heart into a stone ornament of beauty,
but forgot to repair the cracks,
bleeding me dry.

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Creative Case Conversation Notes

In February 2014 Creative Case NORTH delivered two Seeding Events in Newcastle and Salford, bringing together National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), Major Partner Museums (MPMs), freelancers and a range of strategic partners to share exemplars of best practice in partnership working, and mutually explore one another's practice through shared enquiry.

The focus of the events were a series of Creative Case Conversations, in which delegates discussed, explored and interrogated, eight curated questions around the Creative Case for Diversity.

The conversations were hosted in a Dynamic Facilitation style that follows the energy of a group without constraining that energy to agendas or exercises, enabling non-hierarchical sharing of knowledge, expertise and opinions. We didn't seek to find definitive answers or solutions, but to create open, collaborative and creative discussions, allowing for free juxtaposition, which can catalyse inspiration and enable familiar things to be seen in a new light.

The notes of the conversations are available to download below; we hope they will be useful to delegates in their reflections on the Seeding Events, and provide an insight into the conversations for those who weren't able to attend.

» Circulation, touring and distribution - how can we diversify our cultural offer - what models are working, what new approaches are we exploring, what are the risks/barriers involved?

» Creative Processes; how do we strike a balance between collaboration, facilitation and enabling?

» How can we create an environment that supports the Creative Case and enables diverse practice to flourish?

» How can we forge new partnerships that don't look like the ones we already have, and what circumstances do we need to enable conversations?

» How do we support the progression of leaders - artists and managers at different stages of their careers - to ensure the sector is increasingly reflective of society?

» How does the Creative Case enable us to think differently about data and how we apply it meaningfully?

» New approaches and best practice in commissioning; how do we ensure it is fair and excellent?

» Newcastle Wild Card: What is the Creative Case for connecting work with inner diversity of health conditions (with particular reference to Mental Health issues)?

» Salford Wild Card: Is there a risk of diluting support by combining protected characteristics under one umbrella?

» Who are we inviting to experience cultural activity? How can we do this more effectively, and learn from our audiences and visitors to inform change?

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Our New Student Placement

Last week I had my first meeting with ZENDEH. Immediately I felt that I was walking into a creative environment with dancers and facilitators moving between studios and relaxing in the cafe. Although I am familiar with Dance City, the place recalls a certain amount of nerves when I think back to auditions and classes I have been part of there. Although Nazil and Jo immediately put me at ease and introduced me to a world beyond dance studios and legwarmers! Nazil talked with me about ZENDEH's work and ethos and I became increasingly excited, especially when learning how involved I will be during my time on placement. Although I am thrilled to be given the task of coordinating workshops with beauty students, I am apprehensive about leading workshops with adults as my experience has so far been with children and teens. However I am reassured that because of the way that ZENDEH works, coupling workshop leaders, I will gain knowledge through observing others and hopefully increase my skills and confidence. I hope to learn more about devising workshops during my time with ZENDEH and see how workshop material influences the final production. This placement has come at a time when I am considering my career; because of the diverse nature of the placement, working with a multitude of specialists, I will hopefully gain a more thorough knowledge of theatre production and contributing roles that will aid my future prospects. I am so excited to be joining ZENDEH at a time of when their new production Heart is being rehearsed and performed. I am keen to see how the play has evolved from its origins in the poem Leili and Majnoun and see how theater has reworked and revolutionised classic texts for a modern audience.

Abby, Student Placement

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Creative Case North Seeding Event Newcastle

Kate Fox is our Poet in Residence on the Creative Case NORTH programme. She attended the recent Seeding Events, listening in on our conversations and creating poetry from what she heard. Below is the poem created during the Seeding Event at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle on Tuesday 18 February 2014.

The Seeds
At the heart of the flower,
is conversational power
it's about art with diversity at it's heart.
A seed bedded amid some nervousness and frustration
but also excitement, hope- a tipping point for creation.
Can conversation be action?
How can we branch off pledges into reali-tree?
Is it about becoming a community of practice-
widening networks from a garden to a wood to a forest.
More roots and deeper.
Ian Ritchie and Clarence Adoo-demonstrate how HeadSpace
can be remade anew.
The Skoog allowing air to be reshaped.
A breath into a trumpet is recycled, recaptured,
inventive technology allows it to recirculate,
breathe new life into old seeds
inspiring them to grow again and cross-pollinate.
Open Clasp working to change the world one play at a time.
Blooms growing in the spaces between,
where women are and where they have been.
Women from all across the world,
different types of tree co existing in one wood,
tossed by storm, submerged by flood.
A song to sing- not because you know the answer
but for the joy of being a singer, a writer, a dancer.
Homotopia- planting pansies in fertile beds,
also in the spaces inbetween,
and partnering up,
Queering the mainstream.
Being sown far and wide-
from Tom in Finland to Berlin, Istanbul,
anywhere people and pansies can go
and sometimes you gotta have faith
partnerships will grow.
Zodwa Nyoni was part of a team of Brave New Voices
Rxsfswho travelled to America-the old new world.
Her brave new voice,
led her to make the choice
not to be the best kept secret.
Let them see you, smell you,
be ready to be transplanted.
If you stay in one place you'll be marooned-
your unique budding prematurely pruned.
From Yorkshire Africa is calling-
for an artist it's about building networks,
planting ahead, being all in.
So- to summarise the creative case if you're still in any doubt-
it's about letting new people in and letting existing ones out!


PART TWO- The Afternoon Conversations

What I Did Not Hear
We need to keep hierarchies in place
and be less fluid, more static.
Change will just happen,
it's going to be automatic.
We need to see fewer people,
get invited to fewer discussions
than an environment minister on floods.
We must not see the trees for the woods.
We do not need to get to know our artists,
audiences, employees and communities better.
We need to tick boxes and follow directives
to the letter.
We need less freedom to experiment and do.
We must not make mistakes
when we try something new.
We need to hate what we do, make our events boring
and be mean with our knowledge and time.
We must be more like Scrooge,
exclusively think about the bottom line.
We need to be more diverse when it comes to outreach and
education,
but not when it comes to main programming,
public events and the rest of our organisation.
We do not need to look at the wider social context,
or ask what ideas we're going to turn into partnerships
or actions next.
We must not share spaces or think about sharing or spaces.
We must not let people in if we don't like their faces.
Facilitating introductions for smaller organisations must stop-
when looking to partner Universities- or anybody- we can only go in at the top.
We do not need to experience playfulness, freedom,
chance or luck.
We must not give a - mischief maker the chance to disrupt
the way things have always been done.
We must not have fun.

Some Radical Suggestions Which Were Nearly Made
Do not make another pie chart,
make a pie.
Tempt people in with dry ice in the foyer.
Let an artist choose your mobile phone cover-
allow it to be a ridiculous duck.
Tell stories in a different way.
Wear labels as carefully designed as a cornflakes packet,
as exciting as an episode of Breaking Bad,
as paradoxical as a Zen Koan.
Have a conversation with somebody
you would not want to want to sit next to on a bus.
Go on a bus.
Buy an employee a Round the World ticket.
Talk to, and listen to, everybody who walks past you in a snicket.
Take your desk out into the street for a day.
Listen to a genre of music you usually avoid.
If you usually walk to work then run,
if you usually run then walk.
Give someone the gift of a bunch of cauliflowers.
Get your boss to write a list of your magical and super powers.

The Creative Case is about seeding new varieties of plant
and flower and trees.
Ones that are more resistant to hardship, extinction and disease.
So- turn talk into action, get out your watering can-
your watering can do- your watering plan.
Broadcast those seeds wide, scatter and sow,
let them fertilise, germinate, sprout and grow.


Notes: In eavesdropping on the afternoon's twelve hour long conversations I constantly heard talk of structure and static hierarchy coming up against spontaneity, openness and fluidity. The age old issue of how creative organisations can actually be creative - and how resolving that opposition seems key to the Creative Case.

It was somehow easier to hear how things should not be, than how they should be. But how people hoped they would be kept popping up in moments of what I began calling "Rapidly repressed Utopianism". Moments where connections were made between how organisations, artists and audiences react to the world with joy and pleasure at its diverse and wonderful strangeness, and how useful it could be to embrace that more in the day to day business of helping art happen.

Kate Fox
Creative Case NORTH Poet in Residence
Discovery Museum, Newcastle
18th February 2014
@katefoxwriter
www.katefox.co.uk

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Creative Case North Seeding Event Salford

This is the second poem created by Kate Fox, Poet in Residence on the Creative Case NORTH programme when she attended the recent Seeding Event at The Lowry, Salford, on Wednesday 19 February 2014.

WLTM

a.m.
The second event in two days-
people crossing the Pennines- BOTH ways.
There are TWO conversations coming together-
artistic practice and diversity.
The art is at the start and the heart
of the convergences, the confluences.
Today I think- it's all about making those links.
Partnerships.
Like Will and Kate, bacon and eggs,
Kim and Kanye, co and Legs.
Lucy Jackson a Creative Expert for Contact Theatre.
Young People and the Contact-
listening to each other,
fitting together so they're written through it
like words through rock,
they're a key and a lock.
Sarah Fisher runs projects at Artlink.
Without the expertise of the people they work with,
they would sink.
They fit things together-
like a table and a cloth,
black lace and a Goth.
Choosing partners carefully
so too many cooks don't spoil the broth.
Top tips? Listen, listen and listen again.
Listen to people's voices,
use them to inform your artistic choices.
The whole then becomes greater
than the arts.

p.m.
Would Like To Meet partners,
to experience the joys of sharing,
for possible Long Term Relationships.
Good Sense of Humour useful, but not essential.
Must be okay with people watching.
Preferably lots.
Do not necessarily need to enjoy cosy nights in
on the settee
with a bottle of wine and a DVD-
though digital technology now makes remote relationships
more possible.
We are also looking for new, populous places
and spaces.
Would like to meet new partners,
even though entering into relationships
may mean you lose your self and values.
It's a risk. Easier to stay with the known.
Sticking with familiar people is the trap-
cos, let's face it, new ones might be crap.
Would like to meet partners
to fall in love, to be excellent with.
To have experiences we would otherwise
never have known.
Would like to meet partners- but the question is HOW?
If they were soulmates, wouldn't we already
have met them by now?
Sometimes physical borders divide us,
sometimes it's the ones in the head.
Sometimes it's worrying we're unequal,
don't know whether we should lead or be led.
Would like to meet partners-
and it's best when it's not just about pooling our money.
It's better when we have something to share.
It will help if we're ready to care.
We do not have to procreate straight away,
we could just talk.
We need to build networks-
be polygamous. Reach more people who are hard to reach.
Share this knowledge, cross-fertilise, teach.
So- to return to where we began.
Are we still talking about this?
The answer is yes.
Not just when filling out an NPO application.
It is a journey, a process,
building on an existing equalities
and diversities foundation,
where part of the mission
is about recognition
so exciting work does not disappear.
A new vision about how art advances,
partnership is key to our future dances.
Not one size fits all,
in Rotherham they won't even look up
at semi-naked fire jugglers.
Not even a "Crumbs" or a "Flippin' Eck"
Sometimes crossing the M62 is enough of a trek
for busy arts workers
but Britain is changing, at varying speeds,
different communities have different needs.
For the arts to stay at the heart of this,
they too need to keep changing and changing forever,
wanting to meet new partners and make excellent work,
unpacking the creative case
together.
So- the sentence is yours to complete-
arts organisations
Would Like To Meet...?

Kate Fox
Creative Case NORTH Poet in Residence
The Lowry, Salford
19th February 2014
@katefoxwriter
www.katefox.co.uk

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The Creative Case NORTH Residencies

Creative Case NORTH is a programme of sector-led activity exploring the Creative Case. At the heart of the programme is the exploration and development of partnership practice within the context of the Creative Case. The Creative Case NORTH Residencies will provide a new approach to commissioning, enabling exploration of partnership practice within a residency context.

There will be 4 Creative Case NORTH residencies, bringing together creative practitioners and organisations/venues with the following aims:
»   To support the development of new partnerships between creators and facilitators of artistic, cultural and participatory practice, and venues, spaces or organisations which engage the public in arts and cultural activity;
»  To support the development of new partnerships across art forms, spectrums of scale, and levels of experience;
»  To stimulate and support joint exploration of partnership working within the context of the Creative Case;
»  To encourage a creative approach to exploring partnership models;
»  To provide residency partners with an opportunity to take risks and experiment with a new idea, or exploration of process, without implications;
»  To share the processes, findings and outcomes of the residencies with the wider arts and cultural sector, and public.

The residencies are paid opportunities. The residency period will be 7 days, plus attendance at the Creative Case NORTH Celebration Event on Thursday 15 May.

We are seeking applications developed and submitted jointly by proposed partnerships. Members of the Creative Case NORTH Consortium are available during the Seeding Events and beyond to facilitate introductions between interested parties.

The key dates are:
»   Closing date for applications Friday 4 April 2014 at 5pm
»   Successful applicants informed week commencing 14 April 2014
»   All Creative Case NORTH Residencies take place Monday 28 April - Thursday 14 May 2014
»   Creative Case NORTH Celebration event will take place in Leeds on Thursday 15 May 2014

»   Download the full Creative Case NORTH Residency Brief here.

»   Download How to Apply For a Residency (Easy Read Version)

Audio - About Creative Case for Diversity

Audio - Introduction to Creative Case

Audio - Creative Case North Residency Brief

We are committed to ensuring that the residencies are open and accessible to everyone. The residency brief will be available in alternative formats, including audio, large text and EasyRead. If you experience or anticipate any barriers within the application process, or require any help to make an application, please contact us as soon as possible.

Louise Taylor, Creative Case NORTH Coordinator - north@zendeh.com.

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Ten Years Being ZENDEH

A selection of images from our first ten years

Ten milestones on our journey so far:

1) Aged 26, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh founded ZENDEH in Edinburgh, on the 9th February 2004, with the support of the Scottish Arts Council (Creative Scotland) among other wonderful partners!

2) ZENDEH launched with an international evening of new work and new writing at the Traverse Theatre in June 2005. The thought provoking playwrights were; Roxana Vilk, Rona Munro, Nozomi Abe, Amir Reza Khoohestani, Steven Gaythorpe, Isabel Wright, Clare Duffy. It was performed by a fantastic ensemble of actors, supported by a brilliant production team. In the same year we were awarded an Amnesty International Commendation for our production of Isabel Wright's Waiting Room.

3) A memorable co-production of Gerry Mulgrew's Tales of the Arabian Nights with Theatre Workshop as part of Edinburgh's Hogmanay delighted audiences and critics in 2006.

4) Experimenting with the development of the ZENDEH Method began to take pace as we collaborated with artists and managers in Iran, Scotland and England, made possible by the support of the British Council and a range of partners 2007.

5) Following a range of theatre and dance commissions in 2008, ZENDEH became a Resident Company at Dance City in Newcastle and an Associate Company of Northern Stage.

BIRTHDAY

6) Our relationship with a range of partners including Arts Council England became even more vibrant as we deepened our practice of Creativity, Equality and Diversity in 2009.

7) An exciting year in 2010; our first Creative Associate became embedded into the company and the formal welcome of our Associate Writer. This year saw the company grow the ZENDEH Method. We also began working with circus as part of our practice.

8) 2011 saw a growth in capacity for the company with a Producer and General Manager in the team, ZENDEH continues to be Artist Led. ZENDEH represent the North East at the Decibel Performing Arts Showcase with a work in progress of FOUND.

9) In the year of the Cultural Olympiad ZENDEH are proud to join Arts Council England's National Portfolio of Organisations, being one of 110 new into the portfolio and one of 7 theatre NPOs in the North East of England.

10) 2013 we toured FLOCK, and began work on HEART with the support of Northern Stage and Ovalhouse. The Tour of HEART in 2014 is mapped to go across borders and we are thrilled by this new adventure. CINEMA has had a scratch performance at West Yorkshire Playhouse and we can't wait to share more about this show with artists and audiences. Our new General Manager and Administrator join ZENDEH!

Here's to another 10, and another 10 and so on, and on.

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Creative Case NORTH

CCN

We would like to invite you to participate in Creative Case NORTH, the second phase of sector-led activity exploring the Creative Case for Diversity.

Building on activity that took place in Yorkshire, North West and North East in 2012/13, Arts Council England has convened a North area approach to the Creative Case, with the aim of: extending reach and embedding the Creative Case at a deeper level within the arts and cultural sector; supporting National portfolio organisations and Major partner museums with equality action planning developments, and embedding the Creative Case into plans for the 2015-18 investment round; developing further a visible and shared commitment to diverse programming within mainstream provision

A consortium of arts and cultural organisations from across the North area has developed Creative Case NORTH. This is a programme of activity which will facilitate new and continued exploration of partnership models between creators and facilitators of artistic, cultural and participatory practice, and the range of spaces in which they make and share work with the public.

The programme is:

2 x Creative Case NORTH Seeding Events
18 and 19 February 2014, Newcastle/Manchester

Bringing together National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), Major Partner Museums (MPMs), freelancers and a range of strategic partners to share exemplars of best practice in partnership working, and mutually explore one another's practice through shared enquiry. The events will be an opportunity to explore and test ideas/plans prior to NPO and MPM applications to the 2015-18 investment round.

4 x Creative Case NORTH Residencies
6-15 May 2014, North area

Commissioning of four artist/organisation residencies, with partnerships across artform/museum and spectrum of scale. Focusing on mutual enquiry into the three pillars of the Creative Case - Representation, Recognition and Visioning - the residencies will provide a creative approach to exploring partnership models, be it in making work or the infrastructure in which work is made.


There will also be a Creative Case NORTH celebration event on 15 May 2014 in Leeds. This will celebrate and express ambitions by gathering together in a North area event to share learning from the residencies, and explore ambitions for next steps in the North area through a Long Table discussion.

"The Creative Case North work is a great example of the sector working in partnership with the Arts Council to bring together independent artists, National portfolio organisations and, for the first time, Major partner museums. Through its bespoke programme of residencies and events it explores a rich diversity of partnerships whilst uncovering new collaborative approaches which place the creation of art reflecting contemporary Britain at the heart of our creative case.'"
Amanda Roberts, Director, Diversity, Arts Council England.

Registration for Creative Case NORTH Seeding Events is now open. The events will take place 11am-4.30pm and include a networking lunch. Please register online by 12 noon on Monday 10 February to reserve your place:

Tuesday 18 February - Great Hall, Discovery Museum, Newcastle

Wednesday 19 February - Compass Room, The Lowry, Salford Quays

For queries about the Creative Case NORTH programme contact Louise Taylor, Project Coordinator at north@zendeh.com or 0797 664 8867.

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Ovalhouse - You Might Also Like

As part of our residency at Ovalhouse that begins 14 October 2013 we were asked to produce a short video introducing ourselves and our project:

Tickets to see a work-in-progress of HEART at Ovalhouse are available here.

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Billingham International Folklore Festival

In June 2013, Newcastle-based theatre company, ZENDEH was commissioned by Billingham International Folklore Festival to spend a week with pupils from Billingham South Community Primary School exploring the global art of stories, story books and story-telling.

For the past 49 years Billingham International Folklore Festival (BIFF) has been bringing artists from all around the world to Teesside to perform traditional music and dance. In 2011 Olga Maloney, Artistic Director of the Festival asked ZENDEH to explore the idea of creating a new piece of performance to weave together the traditions, cultures and stories of the artists appearing in the 2013 festival and find ways of making new connections with local audiences.

The opportunity chimed perfectly with ZENDEH ambitions. The company, who aim to create theatre that connects across borders, has a long held fascination with world stories and classic tales which have formed the inspiration for many of the company's recent shows including SILK ( 2010) and FLOCK (2013). ZENDEH was absolutely delighted when alongside being asked to create a new performance piece, the Festival asked if the company would spend a week in residence at a local school - Billingham South Community Primary School.

The idea for the residency was to explore and celebrate the universal and timeless art of storytelling, focusing in particular on popular, folk and traditional tales from the countries represented in this year's festival ; Taiwan, Spain, Peru, Ukraine, USA, Egypt, Macedonia Mexico and Papua New Guinea. The workshops were led by ZENDEH's Artistic Director, Nazli Tabatabai- Khatambakhsh, Associate Writer, Steven Gaythorpe and by paper artist and ZENDEH associate Yvette Hawkins.

Christine Charlton, the school's Arts Co-ordinator, invited Nazli and Steve to come to the Key Stage 2 Assembly to talk to the pupils about ZENDEH's work, the proposed residency and to find out which pupils wanted to be involved. ZENDEH could work with 24 children as part of the week-long residency. The school received 94 requests. Names had to be drawn from a hat.

Whenever ZENDEH works with any group, regardless of age or level of experience, the company always starts with an exercise called Rules of Enchantment. Rules of Enchantment enables a group to collectively decide their own set of rules, (or manifesto), for how to make the most out of their time together. The children at Billingham felt the most important rules were - Fairness, Creativity, Togetherness , Having Fun and 'Don't rest till we've done our best'. These rules set the tone for the week, right through to the sharing on the final day which was attended by 100 pupils, parents, governors and staff.

Nazli said "I was absolutely blown away by the energy and passion of the children at Billingham South. They relished Rules of Enchantment and had such clear ideas the conditions they needed to make the week a success. They were absolutely determined to show the best of everyone".

Nazli and Steve were keen that this wasn't just an opportunity to work with the pupils and spent an evening working with the 28 members of staff. Steven said "It was great to connect the work that we did with the pupils with the teachers. More than 40 teachers visited our workshops during the week. It felt like a really strong learning community".

Olga Maloney said, "the residency went down a storm with the children and teachers, both! For me it was fascinating to see the stories develop from the beginning and how the children under the guidance of Nazli and Steve used their imagination and creativity to create the stories the books and then performed the stories on the stage".

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Be Our Next Associate

Could you be our Theatre Associate? We are holding a workshop-audition on Thursday 17th July from 11am - 1pm at Dance City in Newcastle. We are looking for a talented theatre all rounder who wants to collaborate with us on our productions, projects and participatory programmes from January - July 2014. Please email your CV to recruitment@zendeh.com with a 200 word statement explaining why you are interested in this opportunity - by 5pm Friday 12th July.

This is subject to funding from the BBC Theatre Fellowships.

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Heads Up

Heads Up is a series of film portraits tapping into the hearts and minds of a group of arts leaders and their individual interpretation of the Creative Case for Diversity.

Nazli was thrilled and touched to be asked to contribute to this essential exploration of The Creative Case. The film that was made about her can be seen here.

The first four Heads up films are now available to view with the following four released next week. A Live Chat hosted by Arts Council England takes place on the 4th June. Heads Up is the work of Sarah Pickthall, Director of Cusp Inc and Abbie Norris, artist filmmaker of Dropframe.

All four films can be seen here.

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FLOCK Sale

We are holding a very special one-off online art sale.

Sale on for a limited time only, it must end on 29th April.

Visit the shop

flock sale

The FLOCK sale is an opportunity to buy some of the beautiful objects from the FLOCK set; designed and made by ZENDEH Award winning Visual Artist Yvette Hawkins, alongside members of Wearside Women in Need, Tyneside Womens Health and Mongrel UK. All money raised from the sale will go to support the ongoing work of Mongrel UK, Tyneside Women's Health, Book Apothacary and ZENDEH. For ZENDEH the funds raised will enable us to continue and enrich our participatory work over the coming year, through the ZENDEH Award.

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Recruitment - ZENDEH HEART Laboratory

We are seeking to recruit talented people for the following roles - 3 Cast Members, Choreographer, Dramaturg, Stage Manager, and a Photographer.

We are looking for people passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing.

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Choreographer
ZENDEH are seeking a talented Choreographer passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing.

The Choreographer led by Director (Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh), will collaborate with the Writer (Steven Gaythorpe), the Dramaturg (to be appointed) and a cast of 3 Performers (to be appointed) in exploring and experimenting with the emerging physical vocabulary for HEART.

HEART is a passionate love story where touch is forbidden, but the daring steal kisses. There is woman and two men they are from fiction, but the turbulent events of Iran in 1953 are true. There is a happy ending for one of our star-crossed lovers.

Themes of intoxication, the real and unreal, mental health, chaos and independence run through HEART, and will be excavated and examined in the Laboratory.

The research and development Laboratory takes place 24th - 28th June 2013 at Northern Stage.

The fee for the Choreographer is £410 inclusive of all expenses.

Please send your CV, link to online portfolio if you have one, a statement of interest highlighting your experience, and what you hope to learn and share in this process between 200-350 words to General Manager Rebecca Ball recruitment@zendeh.com with Choreographer ZENDEH HEART Laboratory in the subject line of your email.

Deadline for email submissions is 12:00noon GMT Friday 10th May 2013.

All applicants will be notified by email Wednesday 15th May if they will be progressing to the next stage on this occasion.

We will interview-audition workshop short-listed candidates Monday 21st May 2013 at Dance City.

ZENDEH are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and are engaged with The Creative Case for Diversity.

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Dramaturg
ZENDEH are seeking a talented Dramaturg who is passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing.

The Dramaturg led by Director (Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh), will collaborate with the Writer (Steven Gaythorpe), the Choreographer (to be appointed) and a cast of 3 Performers (to be appointed) in exploring and experimenting with the emerging script for HEART.

HEART is a love story where touch is forbidden, but the daring steal kisses. There is woman and two men they are from fiction, but the turbulent events of Iran in 1953 are true. There is a happy ending for one of our star-crossed lovers.

Themes of intoxication, the real and unreal, mental health, chaos and independence run through HEART, and will be excavated and examined in the Laboratory.

The research and development Laboratory takes place 24th - 28th June 2013 at Northern Stage.

The fee for the Dramaturg is £410 inclusive of all expenses.

Please send your CV and a statement of interest highlighting your experience, and what you hope to learn and share in this process between 200-350 words to General Manager Rebecca Ball recruitment@zendeh.com with Dramaturg ZENDEH HEART Laboratory in the subject line of your email.

Deadline for email submissions is 12:00noon GMT Friday 10th May 2013.

All applicants will be notified by email Wednesday 15th May if they will be progressing to the next stage on this occasion.

We will interview-audition workshop short-listed candidates Monday 21st May 2013 at Dance City.

ZENDEH are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and are engaged with The Creative Case for Diversity.

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Stage Manager
ZENDEH are seeking a talented Stage Manager passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing.

The Stage Manager with work directly to the Director (Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh) in supporting the technical needs of the research and development Laboratory.

HEART is a passionate love story where touch is forbidden, but the daring steal kisses. There is woman and two men they are from fiction, but the turbulent events of Iran in 1953 are true. There is a happy ending for one of our star-crossed lovers.

Themes of intoxication, the real and unreal, mental health, chaos and independence run through HEART, and will be excavated and examined in the Laboratory.

The research and development Laboratory takes place 24th - 28th June 2013 at Northern Stage.

The fee for the Stage Manager is £410 inclusive of all expenses.

Please send your CV, link to online portfolio if you have one, a statement of interest highlighting your experience, and what you hope to learn and share in this process between 200-350 words to General Manager Rebecca Ball recruitment@zendeh.com with Stage Manager ZENDEH HEART Laboratory in the subject line of your email.

Deadline for email submissions is 12:00noon GMT Friday 10th May 2013.

All applicants will be notified by email Wednesday 15th May if they will be progressing to the next stage on this occasion.

We will interview-workshop short-listed candidates Monday 21st May 2013 at Dance City.

ZENDEH are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and are engaged with The Creative Case for Diversity.

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Photographer
ZENDEH are seeking a talented Photographer passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing.

The Photographer with work directly to the Director (Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh) working for half day to document the process and provide a selection of images for use by the company online and for print.

HEART is a passionate love story where touch is forbidden, but the daring steal kisses. There is woman and two men they are from fiction, but the turbulent events of Iran in 1953 are true. There is a happy ending for one of our star-crossed lovers.

Themes of intoxication, the real and unreal, mental health, chaos and independence run through HEART, and will be excavated and examined in the Laboratory.

The research and development Laboratory takes place 24th- 28th June 2013 at Northern Stage.

The fee for the Photographer is £200 inclusive of all expenses.

Please send your CV, link to online portfolio if you have one or 3 images as an attachment, a statement of interest highlighting your experience, and what you hope to learn and share in this process between 200-350 words to General Manager Rebecca Ball recruitment@zendeh.com with Photographer ZENDEH HEART Laboratory in the subject line of your email.

Deadline for email submissions is 12:00noon GMT Friday 10th May 2013.

All applicants will be notified of the next steps by email Wednesday 15th May 2013.

ZENDEH are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and are engaged with The Creative Case for Diversity.

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Casting
ZENDEH are seeking 3 talented Performers passionate about theatre. With experience in research and development practice in the process of theatre making of new work and new writing. We are looking for particular strengths in improvisation, devising and physical theatre.

The Cast of Perfomers led by Director (Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh), will collaborate with the Writer (Steven Gaythorpe), the Choreographer (to be appointed) and a Dramaturg (to be appointed) in exploring and experimenting with the emerging script and physical vocabulary for HEART.

HEART is a love story where touch is forbidden, but the daring steal kisses. There is woman and two men they are from fiction, but the turbulent events of Iran in 1953 are true. There is a happy ending for one of our star-crossed lovers.

Themes of intoxication, the real and unreal, mental health, chaos and independence run through HEART, and will be excavated and examined in the Laboratory.

The research and development Laboratory takes place 24th- 28thJune 2013 at Northern Stage.

Leili (Female) playing age 26 - Emotionally raw and compelling, works as broadcaster.

Arthur (Male) playing age 36 - Brooding yet charming ex-soldier with presence, now works as a broadcaster.

Kais (Male) playing age 26 - Melancholic, recovering from depression, attractive practices as a poet.

The fee for each cast member is £410 inclusive of all expenses.

Please send your CV, Photograph and a statement of interest highlighting your experience, and what you hope to learn and share between 200-350 words to General Manager Rebecca Ball recruitment@zendeh.com with Cast ZENDEH HEART Laboratory in the subject line of your email.

Deadline for email submissions is 12:00noon GMT Friday 10th May 2013.

All applicants will be notified by email Wednesday 15th May if they will be progressing to the next stage on this occasion.

We will interview-audition workshop short-listed candidates Monday 21st May 2013 at Dance City.

ZENDEH are an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation and are engaged with The Creative Case for Diversity.

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Farewell Becky

I cannot believe how fast my time with ZENDEH has gone! The six weeks have gone in a blink of an eye and yet it has been filled with a range of fantastic experiences.

I was made to feel like part of the company, from gaining an email address, to having lunch with various members, to being invited to events such as Making Space; an event ZENDEH and Northern Stage ran for International Women's Day. These events and the introductions the company gave me have enabled me to meet a range of people within the industry: from dancers, to designers, to marketing officers.

I have also developed many new technical skills, such as spray painting as I have helped with the production of FLOCK. It has been wonderful to watch the journey from rehearsals, to 'get in', to the final performances and think I have been part of the process, especially when I aided in building the set. However I have also developed previous computer and interpersonal skills as I have helped Rebecca with administrative tasks and planned and observed workshops with Nazli. Thus as you can see I have been given a slice of everything ZENDEH had to offer and this has shown me how varied work in the creative industries can be. It has taught me to be prepared for the unexpected, ready for a challenge and to embrace every opportunity and I have loved it.

I cannot thank Nazli, Rebecca, Steven and the FLOCK Company enough for allowing me to join them during what was an incredibly busy time. All I can do is say how fortunate I feel for such a great hands on learning experience.

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ZENDEH appoints a new Chair and Vice Chair

We are thrilled to announce that we have a new Chair and Vice Chair to help lead ZENDEH over the next three years.

Gez Casey, Literary Manager at Live Theatre in Newcastle will take up the role of Chair from February 2013. An actor, playwright and director, Gez runs the writers' development programme at Live. He has recently co-created the online course and resource for aspiring playwrights, beaplaywright.com. He has written or co-written over twenty plays and has worked in reminiscence theatre, oral history and youth theatre. He was an advisor for the Student Drama Festival at the 2012 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, South Africa. He also teaches at Northumbria University. Gez's 20 years in theatre make him ideally placed to support the realization of the company's artistic ambitions.

Gez said : "It's great to be joining Zendeh at such an interesting point in their development. I look forward to us working together in the future."

Sheila Stokes White will take up the role of Vice Chair in February 2013. Sheila is Founder of a management consultancy offering organisational development, facilitation, mentoring and leadership development to organisations throughout the country. A highly experienced mentor, facilitator and presenter, Sheila is a member of the Institute of Directors and currently facilitates monthly lunch time discussions for female members providing a confidential environment for peer networking and exploratory debates. For the last 10 years Sheila has been non executive director of an NHS trust where she sits on the Audit Committee, has acted as critical friend on organisational development strategies and brings a wider strategic partnership perspective to the table. A classically trained singer with a love of opera, she also enjoys singing jazz and using music as the core of her life and work - for enjoyment, in business, and as life enhancer. She is interested in the use of music as a metaphor for culture change where the jazz ensemble can be used as metaphor for democratic rather than autocratic forms of leadership. She is also on the board of 20,000 Voices the North East musical initiative which aims to spread the enjoyment of singing across the region. We are absolutely delighted that Sheila will be working with us to develop ZENDEH as a company.

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Becky Lightfoot Joins ZENDEH

I'm Becky Lightfoot, a third year English Literature student at Newcastle University, who has been lucky enough to gain the exciting opportunity of an internship at ZENDEH. I am joining the company at an incredible time: the rehearsal period and staging of FLOCK. This means I am experiencing ZENDEH during a very creative period, allowing me to see how the company works during a production. It also means I get to view the thrilling process as the company journeys towards the final stages of putting FLOCK on stage.

I am going to be with the company until the end of March and during this time Nazli, Rebecca and Steven are allowing me to govern the route I wish to pursue. Due to my own personal experiences of participation work, employment, and passion for theatre I have always been interested in participation and education departments within the arts. Thus, this is the direction I am taking during my time at ZENDEH. Ultimately, this will mean I will gain an understanding of the various aspects involved in creating and running participation events. I will not just see the effect the arts can have on a range of people, through the events themselves, but I will also learn how these events are put together. Furthermore, as ZENDEH is a small company, and so friendly, I feel at ease asking questions. I hope these questions allow me to learn more about the company, projects and sector as a whole. But more importantly, I am excited about the opportunity to be challenged and learn in a creative environment, something I am sure I will love and will influence my future.

In the meantime I'm looking forward to viewing my first sneak peek at the rehearsals for FLOCK.

Becky Lightfoot.

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The Blinking Picture

We are thrilled that Kate Fox was our poet in residence for eclectic - a series of events we developed with The Baltic and Gem Arts exploring the Creative Case. Here is Kate's third poem - The Blinking Picture, which was written during our Eclectic at the Baltic in Gateshead on the 8th February 2013.

Snapshot of your entrances;

Some of you took the lift,
some of you took the stairs,
some of you took some moments to look at the view
of bridges over the Tyne,
some of you didn't have time.
Stripy jumpers, glittery scarves,
exciting necklaces,
slightly comedic ties,
gathering round white tablecloths.
Outwardly more diverse
than, say Dickinson Dees
or a gathering of Goths.

Click

Hassan unpacked the Creative Case
for diversity.
The one that has sometimes been stuck
in left luggage or on a baggage truck.
Sometimes hefted as a burden,
stuck up dead ends,
carried by people giving jobs to their friends
and people just like them.
Equality, Recognition, New Vision.
If we do not speak of them,
they are not there,
or end up as portraits sold cheap in a car boot sale.
New music can be played on new instruments,
From the edges to the heart,
sharing power as the start.

Flash!

What is disability?
Something we talked about to death yesterday,
a question we hope we've got the right answer to,
a label,
a staircase,
a social and medical model,
other people telling you what you're able
to do or not do,
a huge question,
a name beyond which a nurse
cannot see their patient,
a play in the making,
a word choice we're taking,
an individual's problem,
a victim of Capitalism,
a limitation,
a way of being oppressed,
a treasure chest
an expansion,
a liberation.

By changing the way you think,
you can make music with a blink
a stamp, a clap.
A new communication style;
called Attempting Not To Be Crap.

A new way to speak or sing -
Google might ask Do you mean Creative Mind?"
when you mean Creative Ming.
At first you may not be heard,
even though the sound is up
and the sockets are in.

Click, whirr.

Mark's bringing his creative case home.
Carrying family photos,
images which can transform,
the power of not wanting to conform.
of being able to put up a fight.
The relief when safeguarding your identity
isn't your responsibility alone.
In this room is is well done or tragic? You decide,
another conversation reflecting
only those on the inside?
He says we don't know that much
about race and place.
Windrush photos,
people literally seeing themselves
in the frame.
Projected into the projection.
Reflecting on the reflection.
A deep, real engagement with who they are.
But -
after three generations of talking about it -
do we really care?

Double exposure:
iodine protects from nuclear explosion,
silver iodine is used in the dark room
to slowly allow the images their form.

Freeze frames:

Many questions about fear.
What is scary about diversity?
Fear of failure.
Fear of dilution.
Fear of a flood of talent.
Fear of difference.
Fear of the Other.
Fear of exposure.
A double exposure.

Let's try an X-Ray shot:

People are asking how organisations
change their DNA?
Maybe that cannot be changed,
but human cells regenerate every seven years.
How does each cell in an organisation carry the change
make room for the strange?
Who has the power?
who has the power?
I hear it several times this hour.

At the Centre for Life,
a group of learning disabled youngsters
saw an exhibition about how genes could be changed
so there would be no more disability.

Erased from the photograph.
Here are other perceived absences:
Social diversity.
Class.
The way that it's all bollocks.
The amazing projects happening on the ground
all the time.
The ones that fizzled out.
The ones that came from the top down.
Many of the people
who different only under the skin,
Where most urgently to begin.
What audience's can handle.
Empty squares in the album.
The one curated,
usually by somebody else.

The picture of one Youth Theatre looks entirely different,
since working with asylum seekers and refugees.
Their brothers and sisters coming now,
a new family photograph which frees
an organisation from keeping up the same effort
all the time.
The dream scenario- a self-refreshing situation
that becomes organic,
not a box-ticking panic,
dressing things up.
Eyes, damned eyes and statistics.
Labels and perception tricks.
What's the focus?
Where's the gaze?

At the root of it is...
At the root of it is...
Another thing I repeatedly hear.
It comes down to funds.
Money is at the root of the fear.
It's funny,
the paradox of how fear
may be at the root of the money.

So, end with another photograph of the door.
In order for the entrances to no longer be the same
as they were before,
new doors,
new entrances,
new gateways

for the new people.
The ones that some want to rant
are not in this room
and cannot have this conversation.

DNA, in double helix spiral,
any change needing to be viral

or the picture will be the same old school photo,
a long shot,
a flash in the pan,
audiences, artists, staff,
all picturing journeying off the path.

Kate Fox
Baltic
8th February 2013

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Record Shop Conversations

Hasan said:
This is where we start.
This conversation about diversity and equality
is about art.
It's not a problem.
The true value of equality and diversity
is at art's heart,
an essential element
in the alchemical equation,
an un-ignorable part.
So is power -
and power can be difficult to share.
Load your creative case
onto the horizontal plane.
No - I'm not using that metaphor again.

It's a conversation about
Stravinsky in Harlem,
black ballet dancers,
a director's innovative decision,
a new vision,
the National Theatre with actual playwrights
who are - gasp - women.
A conversation that starts
what if ...

Raj said he didn't think
he was a diverse artist
until he read the brief for this conversation.
He's often played two records at once,
four bars in sync,
Afro-Indian-Anglo musicality,
making music and pictures speak.
All that jazz,
from Yazz,
to an indie label,
he heard them all in the Record Shop,
where there were real conversational rhythms,
not iTunes' algorithms,
live mixing,
mixing live,
a conversation the independents
keep alive.
Turning the tables,
heightening emotion,
wordless words of pure devotion,
An Old Grey Whistle Twist,
transitions,
collective visions,
he said the diversity
just came naturally.

From Fresh Hell,
to the whiff of Coco Chanel.

Nazli reminds us she's speaking
here in Berwick on the border.
From Edinburgh on the fringe,
Iranian revolutionary ancestors.
Trans national.
The Open Space of
The Third Place.
UN's Article 27.
As a Flock,
taking stock.
Playing,
Saying and not saying.
Shedding a skin,
letting new people in.
Re-direction,
to Iran where men and women cannot touch,
and the space in between can be seen.
How will new artists be the new generation?
How will you make a demonstration
of your progressiveness?
Which small, generous acts
will be made by cultural diplomats?
What if ...

Today's open space
takes place
back in that imaginary record shop.

Leaning over the vinyl,
wondering where the line'll
be drawn.
We've become the book, the film High Fidelity,
questioning what we are still faithful to
and why.
Do we need to distinguish between low and high,
vertical and horizontal,
right back and full frontal.

We are wondering about mash ups.
Tradition versus innovation,
ownership versus collaboration,
programmed art versus personal recommendation.
Spontaneity versus evaluation.
Stability versus relocation...
Montagues versus Capulets...

Not as controversial as The Satanic Verses
but...

Wondering if this is already being done
by the next generation,
despite the barriers to their participation.

Their instinctive diversity of practice,
a million different views of what that is.

They just play lots of things.
Lady Gaga, leads to Radio Gaga
leads to teenagers loving Queen,
where we're going
is partly where we've already been
and new places
we shouldn't worry about not being able to imagine yet.

The conversation is online,
it's round real tables
in an arts centre in Berwick
whose community holds stakes,
where they talk about the cafe's cakes,
the values that their taste makes.

Sometimes diversity and equality
are not even that complicated.
Just talking to some other people,
gentle coaxing,
mutual trust,
Conversations circulating
like air,
not being able to join in small ones
may also be unfair.
These conversations themselves are gifts
and examples of collaborations.
Talk, dance, sing
of the danger of a diversity
that looks just the same to everyone.

This conversation is for everyone
who is here.
Not everyone is everyone.

Pass the record sleeves hand to hand,
mix the tunes and understand,
you can construct your own Top Sixty chart,
be the most artistically diverse people in the world,
without once mentioning diversity
or art.

Kate Fox
Eclectic Creative Case Conversations
Maltings, Berwick
5th February 2013


Unpacking The Case - A More Diverse Diversity

The first words of today's session
were "Alot of people are stuck".
Many creative cases are still in Left Luggage,
or on the airline's baggage truck.
Diversity IS,
Equality can be.
Start with your cast then choose your plays.
It is time for a new vision,
a new gaze.

It is the artists who will unpack that creative case.
Dance with it, draw it, write it,
turn it into a brick,
a tree,
a torch,
Seeing it from anew, from all sides
is the trick.

It is a case to be unpacked joyously.
It's a treasure chest,
it's a crate,
it's a chance to be great.

Take out a portrait of Frieda Kahlo,
spine and body reconnecting,
as a ceiling mirror lay reflecting.
Re-fusing to come apart,
it's all about the art.

Start with the artist's body and spirit.
Pack your creative case
for a journey without a map.
There may be mosquitoes ready to sting,
ready to fly,
ready to ask WHY?!
Making the familiar strange
employ your own agent for change.
Leave your case somewhere people will trip over it.
Don't be afraid to be Great,
a bee that does not know it cannot fly.
Buzzing in, still asking
WHY?

Cross fertilise like Mayuri.
Pollinate those flowers.
With the resources you've plucked
from diverse dancing bowers.
From non- contact
to full body contact.
Expressing the inexpressible.
The idea comes first in these creative slogs,
then communicating it to Joe Bloggs.
What is flat becomes 3D
when you recognise diversity.

Pull your creative case behind you,
don't always follow the tourists.
Round the corner from the Mona Lisa
could be where your personal more is.

This will not work without full contact.
Choreograph the traditional and the innovative,
each will rise and adapt.
It is not exotic to be interested in everything.
To have it all to hand in your case,
to be Unknowing in an Open Space.

Buzz
The mosquitoes are set free.

Who has a mandate,
to translate,
to communicate,
To, I'll repeat it - cross pollinate?

Every table asked and answered this question
in some form.

Slap.

They said leaders need to invite more provocations,
artists need to approach with their communications.

Drag that creative case across the borders,
art form borders, institutional borders.
Every person in an artistic setting
needs to be open to new places and new faces.

Diversity as a state of mind.
Not something you do because you have to.

Leaders saying- not enough people come to us with their ideas.
Others pointing out the imaginary locks,
the cage that is the ticked box.

Bzzzzz

But what is diversity?
We have been told what it is for a long time.
Suspect it is something else.
A place you go when you're ready to adapt.
Fed up of being trapped,
Ready to be unmapped.
Something everyone in an organisation,
outside an organisation,
needs to buy in to.
It's an open space.

It is not just another golf club
of people we speak to when we're being diverse.
It may not be something you can rehearse.
It is unexpected meetings, a packed case ready to go
somewhere else you've never been,
people you meet, in between.

Slap

Mosquitoes have to be brave.
Malaria will scare you.
You may need a swarm.
Leaders could give artists and employees a mandate
to be one.
Overcome the tendency to inoculate
against change, the strange.
Be prepared to be sacked or congratulated
for what you create or curate.
Example artist brief:
We want you to be a mosquito,
be annoying, create a buzz,
that's what you need to work with us.

A case with a label on may not get lost,
but it prevents the unexpected joy
of opening someone else's luggage.
Putting somebody else's clothes on.
New shirts on our backs,
easier to empathise with audiences who fall
through the cracks.
Create art that blows our skirts up.

The first words of today's session
were "Alot of people are stuck"

Escape the silos,
fall off the baggage truck.
Help others forget they can't fly.
Be annoying - to everybody equally -
Keep asking why.

Kate Fox
Eclectic Creative Case Conversation
MIMA
29th January 2013

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