Unsung Sheroes & Heroes of Afrikan Heritage
A series of events at Dynamix Skatepark celebrating the lives and achievements of sheroes and heroes of Afrikan heritage.
This programme – consisting of an exhibition, a theatre play and a workshop – gives context and inspiration for the work of artists and activists engaged in challenging racism today, and providing role models and skills development for young people. With this programme, we also particularly want to involve and be accessible to refugees and asylum seekers, and people of Afrikan heritage living in the area.
Dates and location: 16th November 2017 – 31st May 2018, Dynamix Skatepark
Curational lead: Lalya Gaye (Attaya Projects)
Curational team: Rico Jakk, Morgan Quaintance
Featured artists: Neequaye Dreph Dsane, Oz Peters, more TBA
Dreph: From 13th to 16th November, Ghanaian-born London-based artist Neequay Dreph Dsane is visiting us to paint a large-scale mural on the Dynamix building; a portrait of jurisprudence and leader in the Reparations movement, Esther Stanford-Xosei. There will be an opportunity to meet the artist and for him to share his approach and practice with other artists/aspiring artists between 2 and 3pm on 15th November, and between 4 and 5pm on 16th November. See here for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/363524727424618/
Dreph has been painting since age 12, and his work has taken him around the world, but his work has recently been picked up and celebrated by the UK media, following a series of large scale murals he has painted around London, depicting women of Afrikan/Afro-Carribean heritage who are making significant contributions to their communities, called the You are Enough series.
See his website for more about his work: http://dreph.co.uk/
Celebrating Claudia Jones, 16th November 2017 from 7:30pm
Claudia Jones was an activist, agitator, community organiser, and Mother of Nottinghill Carnival!
With this event we celebrate her life and work, and discuss her legacy, and how we can follow in her footsteps and continue to be inspired by her now…
There will be a Showing of a documentary about Claudia Jones’ life and work, followed by a group discussion around the impact of her work and legacy, and how we continue in those footsteps today.
There will be delicious food of Trinidad on sale at this event, provided by The Calabash Tree! Also, Rum Punch and other Carribean-inspired drinks, and the spriit of Carinival to end the evening on a social vibe.
The event is free to attend. Join the Facebook event here.
The event also links to a 4 day residency in Gateshead by the artist Sonya Dyer, who has created the claudia Jones Space Station. https://
We are also developing an exhibition dedicated to Sheroes and Heroes of Afrikan heritage. This interactive exhibition will include rotating art installations, projections and documentary panels bringing to light the lesser known stories of the people we will feature. Its aim is to equip visitors with knowledge that can supplement and challenge their understanding of history, reframing how we see the world today. Highlighting these figures provides inspiring role models, showing young people of Afrikan origin that their heritage is powerful, worthy of celebration and acknowledgement.
Lalya Gaye of Attaya Projects, who is of Senegalese, Malian and Swedish heritage and based in Newcastle, is curating the exhibition and working with artists (including local young talents) to develop the work for it.
From 13th to 16th November, Ghanaian-born London-based artist D’sane Neequay Dreph will be visiting us, and painting large scale murals. There will be an opportunity to meet the artist and for him to share his approach and practice with other artists/aspiring artists. Dreph has been painting since age 12, and his work has taken him around the world, but his work has recently been picked up and celebrated by the UK media, following a series of large scale murals he has painted around London, depicting women of Afrikan/Afro-Carribean heritage who are making significant contributions to their communities.
See his website for more about his work: http://dreph.co.uk/
We will have art critic, curator, researcher and presenter Morgan Quaintance documenting the project. He is based in London, but will visit at least 3-4 times throughout the project to film, conduct interviews, etc. He will be available to mentor arts/media students who are involved in the project, and there are opportunities for students to gain experience as his assistant while he is here filming etc. His first visit to the region will be during Dreph’s work with us and the Claudia Jones event, from 15th-16th November.
Each new feature of the exhibition – phase 2 is an interactive sound installation by Newcastle-based artist Oz Peters – to be announced soon. Stay tuned! All dates for further new elements of the exhibition, events and workshops will be announced on this page.
There are multiple opportunities for students and other young people to get involved with the exhibition, and with the project as a whole, including various workshops. Contact us to find out how!
Entrance to exhibition and related events is free.
Events that have already taken place:
Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” by Bilimankhwe International
Date and location: 28th October 2017, Dynamix Skatepark
Adaption and direction: Kate Stafford
Design: Hazel Albarn
Choreography: Shyne Phiri
Live music and original songs: Ben Mankhamba
Soundtrack and projections: Frederick Rich
Lead actors: Joshua Bhima, Robert Magasa, Christopher Brand, Stanley Mambo
On 28th October 2017, we are thrilled to be hosting a brand-new take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, by Bilimankhwe International Theatre, which will be the only performance of the show in the North East, and the last night of their UK tour. This exciting production brings together a creative and performing team from Africa and Europe, to create a version of the play which emphasises the themes of colonialism, patriarchy and power. Performed in the Amphitheatre space at Dynamix, this will be a truly unique experience.
While the show will take place at Dynamix, tickets are being sold via the Northern Stage Box Office.
There is a ticket allocation for people with Asylum Seeker or Refugee status. They can access free tickets for the show via the code: TempestFree.
Young people aged 16-21 can access a limited number of tickets for free using the code: Tempest1621.
Please be aware that the venue is not a traditional theatre space, it is a large warehouse, and can be cold, so wrap up warm!
More info about the show
The soundtrack blends traditional Malawi with electronic beats, using Malawian instruments such as the mbira (thumb piano) and mazimba (wooden xylophone), world instruments such a didgeridoo and jews harp and modern guitar the musicians also play live to create a rich layered sound giving Prospero’s island its magic. The music will be accompanied by projected animations and atmospheric lighting.
The play is about patriarchy and the end of colonialism. At the start of the play we see Ariel creating a storm at the instruction of Prospero. By using his magic to take the island from the witch Sycorax, set Ariel free and steal Caliban’s birthright, Prospero has sets off the chain of events which leads to the action of the play. His personal journey eventually leads to him to renounce his magic, hand back ownership of the island to its original inhabitants and understand that his daughter must be free to choose her own future.
The play is beautifully designed using natural materials reflecting the ancient Malawian Nyau traditions; together with the contemporary projections and other-worldly music the effect is of a place outside time, where anything can (and sometimes does) happen.
The original island inhabitants, Caliban and Ariel, speak in a mixture of their native tongue and English – as is common in many countries which have been colonised by the British. Ariel is sometimes one, sometimes splits into two – the use of two performers working in physical harmony allows for even more ‘now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t’ trickery. The rest of the multi-racial cast are all British and speak with their native English accents.
Date and location: 11th November, 2-4:30pm, Dynamix Skatepark
Workshops lead: Akala, The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company
The Hip Hop Shakespeare Company – founded by BAFTA and MOBO award-winning hip hop artist, writer/poet and historian Akala – will lead a workshop with young performers, writers, musicians and activists in the North East.
The workshop will be about participants developing their skills and ideas, using rhythm, lyrics/writing, and voice to explore and express issues that are important to them, but with a particular focus on how these forms can be used to challenge racism.
This part of the programme is particularly relevant for Performing Arts, Music, and Creative Writing students, and aspiring or early career performers, musicians, MCs, spoken word poets, writers and lyricists. There are subsidised tickets available for this workshop at £15, £10 and £3.
This programme is supported by Arts Council England and Northern Stage.