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2021 marks 25 years since Phakama’s first project, Bulang Dikgoro (Open the Gates), an international exchange project in which Young People and Artists from London collaborated with Young People and Artists in South Africa. 

 

Since that first project in 1996, Phakama has continued to spread our non-hierarchical methodology of Give & Gain, a process that creates the opportunity for collaborative arts and theatre-making; where everyone involved has something to learn and something to teach. 

 

In celebration of this momentous occasion, Phakama will host 25 projects, shows, sharings and workshops which will continue to spread our spirit of exchanging, sharing, and seeing and celebrating the value in everyone’s individual voice, experience, and talents.

2021 Line Up

We will be updating this section throughout the year so make sure to check regularly to find out how and when you can get involved!

Power to the People

To kick off Phakama's 25th birthday celebrations our Youth Board hosted our very first Digital Festival called Power to the People, exploring the theme of 'resistance'. The workshops ran over Zoom on Sunday 17th January 2021.

 

Over the course of a day, we come together to explore the things we are resisting. Participants could choose from a range of workshops exploring movement, art therapy, creative writing and photography, sharing their ideas and building a small piece of performance that was then showcased to the group.

“It was great. Could not fault it. I look forward to an in-person one when it is safe to do so” - Festival participant

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Digital Artist Bursary

Artist facilitators are integral to the ongoing growth of the company and it is our intention that artists aren’t just delivering workshops for us but are also involved in the shaping and creation of projects.  

During this difficult period of physical distancing we have been encouraging ways of staying socially connected and increasing solidarity.

 

We kicked off 25 years by offering seed funding to support artists to generate new ideas and creative ways for them move their practice to digital formats and to reach out to participants who are feeling isolated. 

 

We hope that this seed funding will allow creatives to test their idea whilst collaborating with and complementing Phakama’s vision. This round has now closed but keep an eye out for details about the project and any future artist bursary opportunities.

She(me): Reclaiming Shame

An experiment in building shame resilience through devised, digital performance art. A cast of six women from across the UK confront the unspoken and the uncomfortable with care, humor and creativity in this original work created by Indigo Arts Collective and developed with funding from Phakama. 

Through a series of workshops the cast explored their personal relationships with shame, as it intersects with female identity. Filmed in their homes and presented through the familiar lens of zoom, the company courageously staged their discoveries for all to see.

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The resulting vignettes include movement, spoken word poetry, sketch comedy and more, guiding audiences towards introspection, indignation and action. 

Image by Shea Donovan

The Lore:

Language of Resilient Expression

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The Lore is an invitation for

people 18 + to help create a

chapter for a book called

The Lore: The Language of Resilient Expression.

 

Have you endured challenges, obstacles, or struggles during the Pandemic? Or have you experienced lasting health issues? Have you had to find a way to be Resilient?

 

Come on an imaginative journey and tell us of your epic experience, using story drawing and creative story exercises to exploring how you came across one of life's big qualities – Resilience! 

Artists Charlie Folorunsho and Sophie Herxheimer would like to work with 9 people to take part in one of 3 small participatory groups. The workshops will each last one hour. If you’d like to take part in this project, contact Charlie.

Creative Get Together

To maintain Phakama’s strong community of Artists and Young Creatives, and to keep us all feeling motivated and supported we have been hosting get togethers over zoom. These have ranged from informal chats sharing best practice and creative responses to Covid-19, to Bollywood dance workshops hosted by Young Creatives.

 

Our next Creative Get Together will be run by Sarah & Bibi at 4:30pm 22nd April.

Get in touch here if you'd like to join.

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Image by Caroline Gervay

Fighting Talk

Phakama are working with Associate Artist, Jake Boston, and QMUL to provide students at the university with a series of workshops that will start by looking at the life of the celebrated East End prizefighter Daniel Mendoza. 

With Mendoza in the ring with us, participants will explore the craft of writing and performing their own story in solo form. 

 

This project ran over three weeks from March - April and was open to QMUL students.

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World Book Day

On the 4th of March we celebrated World Book Day with nursery children in Soho.

 

Associate Artists Hayley Konadu and Django Pinter worked together to create an interactive zoom adventure for nursery children aged 2-4. Hayley’s wonderful storytelling skills transported the children into an imagined world, taking them on an adventure to find a stolen storybook. Django was able to use his wizardry-like tech skills to animate the story, weaving in the children’s own drawings, as well as live drawing their ideas to make the show as interactive as possible.

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School 21

We are currently working with 5 students taking part in School 21's 'Real World Learning'. The students are working with us to create a video that celebrates the wonderful artists that have worked with and inspired Phakama's work over the past 25 years.