Thurs 18th – 21st May at Theatre in the Mill and across campus
An Arts Festival celebrating Global Majority Women. We aim to create safe spaces for decentering the gaze, networking, connecting, reflecting, workshops, performance, discussion, food, debate, poetry, art and music. Full line up below.
For anyone requiring child care or any access needs in order to be able to attend this event please get in touch by contacting email@example.com. Please write ‘Access’ as the subject.
Please note with the exception of a few specific workshops which are women only (see individual events) the festival is open to all.
Note this is a drop in activity, we will be showing clips and snippets of the work we have been developing.
Salt Eaters is a site-specific interactive multi-sensory experience created by dance artist Mez Galaria with support from Theatre in the Mill and the Amal Foundation. Salt Eaters is created specifically for small groups of women, an experience that transports them into the world of smells and sounds of Umda, a Muslim dancer drawn out of the history books of the Sambhar salt lake of Rajasthan.
It is based on historical records detailing the relationship between the moral ideology of salt as a communal resource and a source of recompense for artists. This convention was actively disrupted by the involvement of the East India Co across India and the subcontinent.
As part of the research for this project, we will test recorded videos from India to the UK and present this in hologram form. We will present the technical research for Salt Eaters during the festival. Both Theatres are currently supporting the project in the Mill and the Amal Foundation.’
@Tiny TiM behind the Theatre
On Saturday at 1pm and 2pm Mez will be running a free introductory dance workshop inspired by the lost folk dance of Salt Eaters. She will also be introducing an opportunity to get involved in the future development of Salt Eaters
In this welcoming and inclusive space, we’ll explore writing as a way of expressing ourselves, healing and affirming who we are in the world. No previous writing experience is necessary; new and experienced writers are all welcome. This workshop is facilitated by Rommi Smith, who believes in the power of writing to support our positive mental health and well-being. Rommi has worked with lots of organisations, such as Arts & Minds and MIND - and for the last ten years has worked within the NHS as a writer-in-residence in women's services.
Using short, straightforward, wellbeing-focused writing exercises, we’ll look at how writing can help, support and inspire us. This workshop engages directly with the themes of two solo performances being performed later the same evening: Nafeesa Hamid’s MY NEWS and Jane Steele’s Wondrous. Both solo performances centre stories of womanhood and surviving after difficulty and trauma.
Writing materials (paper and pens) will be available, but please feel free to bring something you like to write with/on. Workshop participants will have access to the festival bookshelves, which contain various books which we’ll use as a starting point for our own writing. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided.
Friday 19th - 11.30am - 2.30pm
A link to the programme participants will be using with shi – https://www.audacityteam.org/
Read more about shi Blank here: http://wetgenes.com/welcome
Sandra Whyles is a Visual Artist and Maker. She has a diverse portfolio which involves ceramic art, community art facilitation and arts organisation. She uses ceramics, photos and printing, as well as textiles and wood. She was a quarter finalist in the BBC series, The Great Pottery Throw Down. Sandra’s aim is to make the visual arts open and accessible to everyone.
Sandra’s Women’s Weekender Workshop will involve using collage to find fun ways of telling a stories about the inspirational women we admire.
Developed from first-hand testimonies from Bangladeshi women in Birmingham, Walsall, Manchester and London, and brought to life by writer Kamal Kaan and director Abdul Shayek, AMMA is more than an ordinary theatre-going experience. Filmed with teams in the UK and Bangladesh, AMMA sheds a light on the often unheard experience of women through the War of Independence in Bangladesh, vividly preserving these important voices for future generations.
Amma is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Genesis Foundation and the National Theatre Immersive Storytelling Studio.
The original VR production premiered at Tara Theatre on 30 November 2022.
Quote from director
‘When wars are spoken about often women are left out of the narrative... Whenever we talk about conflict, whenever we talk about war, it’s always men that are the heroes. AMMA celebrates the women.’
BIO ABOUT TARA
For over four decades, Tara Theatre has supported the emergence of generations of South Asian performers, writers, directors, musicians and choreographers; and toured extensively nationally and internationally. Tara Theatre remains to this day the only UK theatre whose programme focuses uniquely on South Asian artists, cultural heritage and experience. We are based in our beautiful theatre in Earlsfield, less than 10 minutes from Waterloo. The building was redeveloped in 2016 and houses a main auditorium, studio space, café-bar and garden and two floors of office space.
In August 2020, Abdul Shayek was appointed as Tara Theatre’s Artistic Director, and Joint CEO with Executive Director Helen Jeffreys. Abdul’s appointment began a bold new chapter, at an unprecedented moment which combined the global Covid-19 pandemic, the climate emergency and the Black Lives Matter movement.
Tara Theatre is a contemporary and democratic space, the centre of a community of participants, artists and audiences in South Wandsworth and beyond. We are a catalyst and agent for change within the national and global theatre landscape, addressing the widespread lack of diversity and inclusivity. Our work explores the complexities of our world through a South Asian lens, championing South Asian voices and artists, identifying new narratives, new ideas and new forms.
In Spring 2021 we launched the new Tara Theatre which included a rebrand, new website and the announcement of a new season of work Disproportionately Affected. Our work since has included: a site-specific piece performed in outdoor community spaces across London; a new commissioned play in a co-production with the Donmar Warehouse; 2 productions co created with local young people and extensive artist development programmes. 80% of people we have worked with are from global majority backgrounds.
In 2023, Abdul and Helen were included in the Stage 100 list of most influential people in British theatre https://taratheatre.com/news/tara-theatre-named-in-the-2023-stage-100-list/
For more information about our work please visit www.taratheatre.com
Kamal Kaan Writer
Abdul Shayek Director
Project Dastaan Films 360 Filmmakers (Bangladesh)
Ajay Singh 360 Filmmaker (London), Creative Director (Post Production) & Editor
Anna Lewis Designer
Beth Duke Sound Designer & Music
Carly Altberg Theatre Lighting Designer
Muhebur Rahman Shaha Theatre Video Designer
Polly Jerrold Casting Director
Bella Rodrigues Producer
Chancal Adak Post Production Film Producer
Gourav Singh Karki,Amit Jadhav, Bhavin Bharot Special Effects
Arma Shaikh, Gourav Singh Karki Animation
Romil Khatri Colour Grading
The Audio Guys (TAG) Sound Engineer (Ambisonic Mix)
Sakuntala Ramanee Nessa
Liz Jadav Chandra
Sonia Kaur Documentary Voiceover
Chloe Stally-Gibson Production Manager
Jake Ayris Technical Manager
Carly Altberg Production Electrician
Dan Harmer Production Sound Engineer
LONDON FILM CREW
Tupac Carroll London Gaffer
Dylan Schultz-Soo London Lighting Technician
Mira Begum, Toby Coffey, Benjamin Smith, National Theatre Immersive Story-Telling Studio, Sofina Razzaque, All Seeing Eye
Legacy West Midlands
New Hope Global
Chadswell Healthy Living Centre
Footage from London Me Bharat (Vinod Pande, 1972) and London Me Bharat India in London provided Courtesy of the BFI National Archive
Shop Uncle’s 10-year-old daughter and her best friend are putting on a magic show. The Grand Finale? A vanishing act! When a catastrophic event hits their tight-knit community, the faith of each person is tested. This corner shop becomes a sanctuary for coming-of-age and home-coming - the community navigates the sublime, redemption, reflection, and communal care.
Biography of Nafeesa Hamid
Nafeesa is a poet; playwright; educator; performer; and creative producer who has been active since 2012. She was born in Pakistan, bred in Birmingham and uses the intersectionality of her identities to inform her work. Her debut poetry collection Besharam was highly commended in the Forward Prizes 2019. She is subsequently published in Forward Poems of the Decade 2011-2020 with Faber Poetry.
She is also published in various anthologies, including The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, edited by Sabrina Mahfouz. Nafeesa has appeared on BBC Bitesize, BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Comedy, and The Verb. Nafeesa has been featured at literary festivals across the country. She is touring her first full-length play about corner shops, magic, faith, and worship. Nafeesa is a big fan of large bodies of water, rambling (talkin’ and walkin’), and petting other people’s pets.
Light lunch and drinks will be served at Theatre in the Mill after the prayer circle.
Light lunch and drinks will be served at Theatre in the Mill after the Jummah prayer.
What is Jummah Prayer?
When Muslims congregate for congregational devotion during Friday midday prayer, it is known as “Jummah”.
An imam delivers a sermon (khutbah) after the prayer.
Come and join Shi to create a curation of your favourite inspiring women themed music to be showcased at our Celebratory Dinner in association with Sonia Sandhu!
Friday 19th - 2.30pm
A link to the programme participants will be using with shi – https://www.audacityteam.org/
Read more about shi blank here: http://wetgenes.com/welcome
10.00 am - 5.00 pm at Gallery II
Wondrous is a celebration of a life refracted through the sometimes-hair-raising story of a mixed-race, working-class Yorkshire woman.
Intertwining comedy and tragedy, spoken word and song to portray answered questions and (un)belonging, turning poison into medicine, and finding jewels in life’s darkest, most unlikely corners.
Content warning: contains very strong language, offensive racial terminology, references to domestic violence, and references to child abuse.
Please find below a link to a 'Words for Healing & Wellbeing' resource list to accompany the performance.
Mussarat Rahman, Founder and Director of Intercultured Festival, wanted to create a platform, for people who wanted to voice and express their voices and culture. Musarrat spent some time within the community, brainstorming ideas and finding ways to represent the unrepresented - that's when Intercultured was born. Bradford has a strong history of welcoming migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, and we should continue to hold these strengths!
Intercultured Festival has grown from strength to strength, and we value and champion grassroots community engagement.
"Regardless of who we are we're all the same, Intercultured is about celebrating all communities collectively*
- Musarrat Rahman, Founder and Artistic Director.
Join us for a bespoke meal that honours Women of Colour. Each course will celebrate a woman of colour with a northern connection. Let's hold this space for women who give us a sense of hope! Our dinner will be served alongside poetic entertainment tailored to go with each course of the meal.
Musician: Stella Litras
Speaker: Rommi Smith, Shabina Aslam, Marcia Hutchinson
Poets: Nabeela Ahmed, Shareena Lee Satti, Simone Yasmin and Warda Yasin
'My Body is a Protest for Change'
This piece is a live art installation [Photographic narratives] that combines a creative practice/through a gathering of women. The work addresses the important role of female artists from the broader African, Caribbean, and Asian communities. Through observation of their personal practice and activism to witness (cultures in transits)
The workshop is a 3-hour protest workshop, which uses the tools of organising a protest as a methodology to centre experiences of racism and discrimination - and collaboratively protest them.
The workshop is a trans-inclusive and non-binary inclusive space for Global Majority women. Part of the workshop will be inside and outside; the point is to explore the relationship between self and public space. The workshop will result in the creation of a photographic archive of portraits of the women attending.
Workshop session agenda:
How do we narrate marginalised women (female futurism) as a metaphor between time and space in the context of bodies and buildings - artist and architecture
How do we move towards inner well-being [confronting the truth]
How do we access spaces and inhabit our own being of belonging in a landscape which silences women/where women are [often] Invisible
What is the reality/ how do we see self and others/or do we imagine /reimagine time /the future of black/brown bodies in buildings of creativity?
How can the Artist, alongside the city’s architecture, invoke the spirit of the past and present?
What does the future look like/are we part of the change, or are we the change?
Through an exploration and being present to think and rethink beyond gender identity/and conjure feminine art /and inhibit one's self as joy in the making...
Create a protest placard which tells your story.
About Khadijah Ibrahiim:
Khadijah Ibrahiim was born in Leeds of Jamaican parentage. Educated at the University of Leeds, she is a literary activist, theatre maker and published writer who combines interdisciplinary art forms to re-imagine poetry as performance theatre.
Hailed as one of Yorkshire’s most prolific poets by the BBC. Her work appears in university journals, poetry anthologies, and BBC Radio 4 and 3.
Peepal Tree Press published her collection ‘Another Crossing’ in 2014. She’s performed and directed art programs in the USA, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
In 2010 she was a writer in residence for El Gouna writes, Egypt, and South Africa with the British council Verbalized sustained theatre program, and in 2021 Leeds Art Gallery picture lending library.
The recipient of the Leeds Black Award 2011 for outstanding contribution to arts, she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowship 2017 and 2019 and the Sue Rider Yorkshire Woman of the Year for her contribution to the arts 2018. She received a Leeds 2021 Legacy Award for her ‘International Impact on the Arts and culture’.
Sat 20th - 12-3pm
Who inspired you to take a radical path?
This hands-on online workshop led by Kaitlin Chan will guide participants through making a mini ‘zine’ exploring someone who changed their perspective on what kind of life is possible. The person can be anyone: a writer, an aunt, an activist, a teacher, a friend, someone seen on TV…
The workshop will use collage and drawing as the guided approach to making a zine. You can print and prepare photos and other materials which inspire you to create!
The event will include a brief introduction, group discussion, creative/zine-making time, and participant sharing.
About Nana-Essi Casely-Hayford:
Hailing from a lineage of storytellers, healers, and griots, including medicine women, it stands to reason that Ms Nana-Essi Casely-Hayford became a storyteller herself, as well as a writer and Creative Expression for Wellbeing Practitioner.
With several years of experience in her field of work, she uses a gamut of creative modalities to aid personal growth.
Being of Ghanaian heritage, Nana-Essi is also inspired by the lived experience narratives she had the privilege of witnessing and experiencing during visits to her grandmother’s village and cocoa farm, which she declares was a breathtaking arboretum of mystical wonder.
Nana-Essi has first-hand experience through her workshops, and her own life on the restorative/therapeutic effects stories can have on a person. Her careful regard, passion, grace, charm, and sense of humour shine through in her interaction with participants during her facilitation of creative sessions.
Sufi-soul singer Sarah Yaseen is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter of Kashmiri/Pakistani family heritage.
As a solo artist she performs as Sarah the Sufi, singing in English and Urdu whilst accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, the 1-string Ektara or with Arabic derbuka
Sarah is also a frontline singer with the world music ensemble Rafiki Jazz and guest singer with Denmark’s all-women global ensemble Radiant Arcadia.
Blue Skies and Glass Ceilings - a debate with provocations from women who fly high and break glass. What do Blues skies and glass ceilings mean to women today?
Panel members to be confirmed.
“Inspirational Women” themed book club with Black writer and spoken word poet and ‘artivist’ Simone Yasmin: Bring along your favourite poem, lyric, book, children’s book, or story to share the theme of powerful, inspirational women!
About the artist:
Simone Yasmin (she/her) is a Black writer and spoken word artist born and based in Leeds. Both her written and vocal work raises awareness for issues many choose to ignore in order to sit in comfort. Simone brings that discomfort into the centre of the room, pulling no wool over eyes with her blunt and realistic words.
Simone is an artivist and the intersection of race and feminism is often central to Simone’s work. Her own experiences navigating the world – a white, male world – as a Black woman, largely act as a catalyst for this. Her interlocking identities cannot be separated or extracted. Simone connects dots many are scared to, creating parallel lines to highlight injustice and amplify marginalised voices.
With every piece she produces, Simone hopes to make people feel. This quote from Anne Lamott chimes strongly in Simone’s ears as she imagines every piece. “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”
In 2020, Simone launched ‘Storytellers’, a monthly event inviting creatives to an inclusive and safe space, to gain feedback, confidence and trial new ideas. Through the Covid-19 pandemic, Simone hosted ‘Storytellers’ online, rebranding the event ‘Lockdown Stories’. She is a former co-facilitator of ‘Gassing with the Galdem’, an online discussion space for Black women, women of colour and marginalised genders.
Read about Simone Yasmin here: https://etherealtruth.com/
Sat 20th -11.00am
The Women’s Comedy Workshops are back; we are championing and centring Women and Non-Binary participants from the Global Majority.
This performance is a culmination of comedy workshops (sharing of our participants’ material) as part of the Women's WEEKENDER
We are excited that the spectacular Natalia Gul will lead our upcoming Women’s Comedy Workshops from ‘The Jungle’ Karachi. This is our third collaboration with Natalia on the comedy workshops, and we’re thrilled to have her over in person.
On 18th February, we started four weeks of Saturday afternoon workshops – covering stage presence, creating material, stand-up technique, and collaborative writing, all in a brilliantly supportive, safe space. Theatre in the Mill will manage the Women’s Comedy Workshop in the Mill in collaboration with Radicle Comedy (which is led by the hilarious duo of Carolyn Eden & Lucy Quin).
Note the performance is 16+
About Sile Sabanda:
Sile Sibanda is a Spoken Word Performer, BBC Radio Presenter, Events Host, Creative Producer/Facilitator and DJ. She has been involved in creative and community projects for over 13 years, starting with a Glee Club at the age of 12 and speaking at the House of Lords. Recently, she hosted a conversation with former Sheffield Lord Mayor Magid Magid for the Off the Shelf Festival and Munroe Bergdorf for Shefest.
Sile created a short film on the theme of “belonging” as part of the Migration Matters Festival. She became a creative producer for Story-trails, creating an emotional, immersive storytelling experience about the untold stories of people living in Sheffield. She had a debut DJ set at tramlines fringe 2022 and facilitates creative writing workshops for primary school and community groups.
She has been an active part of the Writing Collective Hive and hosted open mics and events for Hive over the last few years. In 2019 she won the BBC Radio Sheffield This is Me competition and subsequently became the host of the evening show on BBC Radio Sheffield.
Animator in Residence: Hafsah Jawed Khan
Poet-in-Residence: Rommi Smith, festival co-curator
Hafsa Jawed Khan is the Women's Weekender Animator-in-Residence. Throughout the weekend, Hafsa will be zooming in to events from Pakistan and turning what she sees, hears and experiences into a series of short animations. Hafsa's animations will form part of the archive for the Women's Weekender.
Hafsa was born in Karachi, Pakistan, where she has lived all her life. She has a Masters’ degree and began developing her work as an artist during the COVID-19 Pandemic, when she started to learn animation through different platforms. After a while, she decided to take it to the next level. Hafsa ventured into the freelance world where she met a small Social Enterprise in Halifax: ENT Foundation. Hafsa is part of the ENT creative team, where she contributes to a very rich and diverse space of storytelling. Hafsa is the Women’s Weekender animator in residence. She will be creating brand-new animation as an archive of the weekend.
Mussanzi Family Choir is a Congolese family choir based in Bradford that predominately sings acapella hymns in Swahili, Lingala and French, which mix both storytelling and activism, giving a glimpse into their life as refugees living in modern-day Britain, finding their voice and using the power of music to heal past traumas and thrive. When the pandemic hit, they started recording their song, sharing them on YouTube, and performing live at various events.
Song-geet performs in a wide field of musical phenomena in South Asia, ranging from classical and Qawwali to Carnatic and Punjabi folk music. Song-geet represent this diversity in their choral singing group, a community of South Asian women aged 25 to 55 with no previous experience in singing!
What do we hope and wish for from Bradford 2025?
How might the Women’s Weekender be a collective inspiration to dream, aspire, think, wish, grow, develop and plan towards 2025?
Join us for this informal, mind-mapping, free-writing, blue-sky-thinking creative writing session. Facilitated by Aamta Tul Waheed – poet in residence for the weekender, along with the TiM team.