When I was contacted by Collective Encounters who commissioned me to create a body of work for a conference called “Rediscovering The Radical” in Liverpool, I leapt at the chance. The prospect of going up to work with two youth theatre groups in Manchester and Liverpool to generate ideas was a major bonus. I was also invited to attend the actual conference and all of the other events that the work would be used at. While working with both youth groups, I was struck by how politicised the young people are. Maybe it is because both cities have previously suffered severely due to the North/South divide. When I lived in Liverpool many years ago there were virtually no jobs at all for the vast majority of people during the 1980’s. However, there was a creativity and spirit up North particularly in Liverpool that I fell head over heels in love with. I’m pleased to say as soon as I arrived in Liverpool I breathed a sigh of relief, it’s a beautiful city with such warm people. On the night of my arrival, Jeremy Corbyn was due to speak in the square and the whole of Liverpool came out to see him. In a crowd of hundreds of likeminded people I clapped and applauded various speakers until Jeremy arrived on Stage to a collective roar of cheers. The next day I worked with the Liverpool youth group and then travelled to Manchester to work with the second group before travelling back to London. Inspired by the trip I worked solidly to meet a very tight deadline. Here are the results.
There will Be Protests On The Streets – September 2016
Tshirts, Protest Boards and Cushions designed and created by Melodie Holliday
Over the past 30 years participatory and community arts has been largely depoliticised and now too often functions as a quick fix for social problems. Rediscovering the Radical took the position that maginalised individuals don’t need fixing: the system does. The conference was a unique opportunity for artists, activists and academics who are passionate about the need for real change to come together. It was a hot-bed for new thinking and a fabulous melee of creative experiences.
Where the work can be viewed :
1st-3rd Rediscover the Radical conference at LIPA, Liverpool
6-11th Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre, London
15-25th Unlimited Festival at Tramway, Glasgow
October 2016: Presentation of work contd.
8th – 15th return to Liverpool for performance of Legislative Theatre project