Category Archives: arts

Maria Balshaw ‘Give Back To Moss Side’?

On 12th February 2015, Maria Balshaw was interviewed By Radio 4, she talked about the very diverse communities in Moss Side on their doorstep and stated “We want to give something back to Moss Side”.

This was in answer to the question about the Whitworth Art Gallery being about catering for all walks of life.  She is now to be promoted to the top job of director of the Tate.  We wonder what people from Moss Side think about her publicly broadcasted statement?

Box set on sale EXHALE artists DVD, audio-CD + booklets exploring asylum/refuge

…an alternative to the usual festive items for those of a conscious disposition…

EXHALE artists DVD, audio-CD and booklets – box set on sale now!

EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, bookletsOUT NOW! only £15.99 including free delivery

EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, bookletsEXHALE :
local streets, global waters, bloodstained papers
5 years of video, music and electronic art engaging with asylum and migration in a new world order

“memorable and passionate”  art monthly
“evocative, metaphorical”  The Guardian
“brilliantly executed”  City Life

Box set with video-DVD, audio-CD, interactive ROM art and two booklets with 40 pages of essays, images and contexts
IN STOCK – ORDER ONLINE NOW!    http://www.virtualmigrants.com/order.htm

Proceeds from sales will support our forthcoming multimedia performance around the themes of race, environment and refuge.

EXHALE is about people mending broken identities; piecing together links between the war on terror and the war against asylum seekers; school kids understanding the basics of humanity; expressing critical threads between slavery and modern migration contexts; being caught up in legal categories that demean your rights; and a range of other critical narratives along with a different take on how art can engage and discuss such issues.

EXHALE, a multiple-format publication containing original artworks (video, interactive and audio) by Keith Piper, Kooj Chuhan, Aidan Jolly and a number of other artists and collaborators.  This contains a series of short films, interactive art, music, writing and photography with conscience, anger, sensitivity and emotion, reflecting unsensational yet powerful and thought-provoking narratives on the lives and contexts around the asylum and migration stories which the artists connected with across the UK.  It also includes exclusive interviews with both Keith Piper and the What If I’m Not Real artists team.

exhaleWideMultishots_ewon sale: EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, booklets

The box set includes a video-DVD, an audio-CD, interactive ROM art, and two booklets of essays, images and contexts.  It contains the entire set of moving image and interactive works from the ground-breaking Terminal Frontiers exhibition which toured the UK and beyond from 2005-7, including the What If I’m Not Real installation and film which received a rave review at SIGGRAPH (http://www.virtualmigrants.com/exhale/siggraph07.htm).  It also contains “The Next Breath” project, a set of short fast-take semi-documentary narratives as video and audio pieces involving artists, refugees, asylum seekers and others from Glasgow, Derby, London and Plymouth.

EXHALE artists DVD, audio-CD and booklets: For full information about the many artists involved, the range of works, and the artistic process that led to their creation (and of course, how to order online) please check the section on our old website   www.virtualmigrants.com/exhale   or email us at  info[at]virtualmigrants.com

vmLogo1_sw

Continent Chop Chop | Climate justice performance

CONTINENT CHOP CHOP
austerity, refugees and climate destruction: a story told through music, poetry, transmedia and spoken word

With performances currently touring from October-December 2015 in Manchester, London, Liverpool, Huddersfield, Leeds and Leicester. Tour dates and tickets

Continent Chop Chop climate justice performanceClimate justice stories from across the world weaved together via Afrobeat influences, experimental electronics, English Folk and deconstructed imperial anthems.

Continent Chop Chop asks: What are the connections between climate change and poverty? How does the wider climate of austerity and scapegoating of migrants connect with climate change? And why should anyone care when they don’t have enough to eat?

Featuring commissioned recordings and footage from Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigeria-based leading environmental activist, and from Zena Edwards, a London-based performance poet, writer and musician.

A performance project by the Virtual Migrants collective.
Devised and led by Sai Murray (writer, performer), Aidan Jolly (musician, composer) and Maya Chowdhry (transmedia artist).  Supporting artists: Tracey Zengeni (vocals, performer), Jaydev Mistry (musician, digital soundscapes), Kooj Chuhan (video artist), Mazaher Rafshajani (photography and video).
Directed by Amanda Huxtable.

Full details of Continent Chop Chop climate justice performance at: www.virtualmigrants.net/continent-chop-chop

LIST OF PERFORMANCES IN 2015:
Ticket prices and ticketing details here

Saturday 31st October, 7.30pm
Kirklees Media Centre, Huddersfield  http://www.the-media-centre.co.uk

Saturday 7th November, 6 – 8pm
Highfields Centre, Leicester  http://www.highfieldscentre.ac.uk/home.html

Tuesday 10th November 6pm  (excerpt as part of ‘Dance The Guns To Silence’)
Rich Mix, London  http://www.richmix.org.uk/whats-on/event/dance-the-guns-to-silence-ii/

Saturday 14th November, 7.30pm
Anthony Burgess Centre, Manchester  www.anthonyburgess.org
Tickets: http://continent-chop-manchester.eventbrite.co.uk

Sunday 15th November, 3 – 5pm
The Lantern, Liverpool  http://www.lanterntheatreliverpool.co.uk/

Friday 20th November, 7.30pm
Seven Arts, Leeds  http://www.sevenleeds.co.uk/

Thursday 3rd December, 6.30pm
Free Word Centre, London  www.freewordcentre.com

Full details of the performances and online videos at www.virtualmigrants.net/continent-chop-chop
Information on our participatory workshops to be announced soon.

Continent Chop Chop climate justice performance - funders and partners logos

NNIMMO BASSEY award-winning African climate activist: help make a film about his work

Nnimmo Bassey crowdfunderCardNNIMMO BASSEY is an award-winning African climate activist and poet: we want to make a film about his work and how it connects with austerity, refugees and our wider realities. Please spread the word about our crowdfunding campaign, or donate yourself if you can:

http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nnimmo-bassey-award-winning-climate-activist .

This film will be more than a film about a strong and critically important activist – which is worthwhile in itself. It will also connect Nnimmo’s work with immediate headline issues concerning many of us – austerity and refugees – and so will join some of the dots which many environmental films do not. Continue reading

CONTINENT CHOP CHOP: climate justice film project on Indiegogo

Nnimmo Bassey with international activist Vandana Shiva

Nnimmo Bassey with international activist Vandana Shiva

We’ve launched a crowdfunder so that we can work with poet, author, activist Nnimmo Bassey. To support us click on the CCC logo on the right to go to Indiegogo.
For more information about the project click on the Continent Chop Chop menu.

What is CONTINENT CHOP CHOP?

A new transmedia performance by Virtual Migrants, touring from November 2015.  It focuses on climate destruction and how it is linked to global austerity policies and refugees.  It currently includes only a short voice-over from Nnimmo Bassey as a part of the story.  We’ve launched a crowdfunder for this climate justice film project on Indiegogo. The new film created in collaboration with Nnimmo Bassey will become a centre-piece of the performance.

Poster Film Collective "Whose World Is The World" cultural consciousness

Cultural consciousness: Poster Film Collective in the 80s and other online pieces

Selected posts by Kooj Chuhan recently on Virtual Migrants’ Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VirtualMigrants :

Poster Film Collective cultural consciousness in the 80s

Whose World Is The World by Poster Film Collective cultural consciousness in the 80s. Any parallels now? http://poster-collective.org.uk/whoseworld/index.php
These posters were often in the youth clubs and community centres that we worked in, running creative, campaigning and discussion activities focused on anti-racist and suppressed historical ideas and knowledge. They gave a continuity in the environment that the people who used the building could continue to reflect on after the activities and workshops, in an immediate and visual way without too much text clutter. I really think we need this kind of stuff again in our physical environment, maybe the digital world makes us forget these possibilities?

Migrant crisis: tackle the cause and not the symptom?

The Chance Or Choice report suggests long term answer lies in Continue reading

on sale: EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, booklets – socio-art exploring asylum/refuge

EXHALE – artists’ DVD, audio-CD and booklets – box set on sale now!

EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, bookletsOUT NOW! only £15.99 including free delivery
an alternative to the usual festive items for those of a conscious disposition…

EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, bookletsEXHALE :
local streets, global waters, bloodstained papers
5 years of video, music and electronic art engaging with asylum and migration in a new world order

“memorable and passionate”  art monthly
“evocative, metaphorical”  The Guardian
“brilliantly executed”  City Life

Box set with video-DVD, audio-CD, interactive ROM art and two booklets with 40 pages of essays, images and contexts
IN STOCK – ORDER ONLINE NOW!    http://www.virtualmigrants.com/order.htm

Proceeds from sales will support our forthcoming multimedia performance around the themes of race, environment and refuge.

EXHALE is about people mending broken identities; piecing together links between the war on terror and the war against asylum seekers; school kids understanding the basics of humanity; expressing critical threads between slavery and modern migration contexts; being caught up in legal categories that demean your rights; and a range of other critical narratives along with a different take on how art can engage and discuss such issues.

EXHALE, a multiple-format publication containing original artworks (video, interactive and audio) by Keith Piper, Kooj Chuhan, Aidan Jolly and a number of other artists and collaborators.  This contains a series of short films, interactive art, music, writing and photography with conscience, anger, sensitivity and emotion, reflecting unsensational yet powerful and thought-provoking narratives on the lives and contexts around the asylum and migration stories which the artists connected with across the UK.  It also includes exclusive interviews with both Keith Piper and the What If I’m Not Real artists team.

exhaleWideMultishots_ewon sale: EXHALE box set of DVD, audio-CD, booklets

The box set includes a video-DVD, an audio-CD, interactive ROM art, and two booklets of essays, images and contexts.  It contains the entire set of moving image and interactive works from the ground-breaking Terminal Frontiers exhibition which toured the UK and beyond from 2005-7, including the What If I’m Not Real installation and film which received a rave review at SIGGRAPH (http://www.virtualmigrants.com/exhale/siggraph07.htm).  It also contains “The Next Breath” project, a set of short fast-take semi-documentary narratives as video and audio pieces involving artists, refugees, asylum seekers and others from Glasgow, Derby, London and Plymouth.

For full information about the many artists involved, the range of works, and the artistic process that led to their creation (and of course, how to order online) please check the section on our old website   www.virtualmigrants.com/exhale   or email us at  info[at]virtualmigrants.com

vmLogo1_sw

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ exhibition in Oxford presents video art ‘Buy This (v3)’

This weekend on 1st Nov 2014 the ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ Exhibition in Oxford presents video art titled “Buy This (v3)” on race-migration-climate issues by Kooj Chuhan / Virtual Migrants.

The ‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ exhibition

DohMixMehUpMore info:

‘Doh Mix Meh Up’ – Diaspora and Identity in Art

A free one-day exhibition and performance programme exploring the role of the arts in understanding, expressing and experiencing diaspora.

1st November 2014, 3pm – 10pm

Panel Discussion:
‘Exploring Diaspora through Continue reading

Buy This (v3) by Kooj Chuhan – video installation art archived by Vtape (Toronto)

The 2-screen installation ‘Buy This (v3)’ created with support from Virtual Migrants as part of their Centre Cannot Hold ongoing exploration of climate imperialism, was re-formatted as a single screen artists’ video and toured Canada as part of the Monitor 9 programme by SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) in Toronto.  We now have this video installation art archived by Vtape, a non-profit distribution and resource centre in Toronto.  Vtape is the leading distributor for video art in Canada, established in 1980. They represent a collection of over 5000 titles, accessible to artists, curators and educators.

buyThisV3_still-01

The original ‘Buy This (v1) installation was more complex and interactive, exhibited at The Arnolfini in Bristol (2009) as a part of the ‘C Words’ exhibition about climate justice. This later non-interactive video-based version (v3) was premiered at the first Platforma Festival in December 2011 as a proper 2-screen installation followed by Manchester’s local Chorlton Arts Festival in 2012, and then in 2013 toured a few venues in Canada courtesy of South Asian Visual Arts Centre (Toronto) as part of Monitor 9 with the two screens compiled into a single screen for ease of exhibition, and then also at No.W.Here Gallery in London.

BuyThisV3_MG_7055_sAlthough this work has been screened as a single video stream, it is best viewed using two separate projectors as an installation because the intention is that the two screens loop at different rates so that the imagery juxtaposition continually changes.   Here is the original description of the work:

Buy This (v3) video installation 

by artist Kooj (Kuljit) Chuhan, 2012, a part of an ongoing exploration by Virtual Migrants artists’ group

Year of completion: 2012
Country of production: UK
Running time: 6 mins 20 secs as a continual loop

Refugees and ‘third-world’ migrants bring with them intimate and undervalued knowledge about climate change.  ‘Buy This’ juxtaposes such voices on one screen against another, over-saturated with colliding imagery of wars, colonial struggles, environmental upheaval and UK racism, overlaid with scrolling news messages.

An exploration of how environmental change is integral to the economic and political forces bringing about human displacement and racial inequality, and a continuation of the “Centre Cannot Hold” project discussing climate imperialism and the violent commodification of humans and the environment.

Increasing numbers of people in the UK are sceptical of man-made climate change, outnumbering those who accept climate change as man-made.  Many local members of refugee communities have recent personal experiences and observations from their originating countries which are able to testify to environmental change.  By enabling local refugees to express first-hand observations from countries they have recently migrated from, collaborating with scientists and social scientists to discuss their data, local people can intimately appreciate changing conditions in other countries.  At the same time, it is an opportunity to raise discussion in the UK about the global connections between race and climate, and also how they may impact on issues such as asylum in Europe and the West.

The media-saturated culture which we in the western world inhabit is a facet of a wider approach to (over-) consumption which has become the norm, and which is fundamental to ideas of maximising economic growth with the resultant process of murdering the planet’s resources and bringing about climate devastation.  More than this, the arts, media and cultural sectors is largely complicit in nurturing false illusions and political amnesia, this ‘soft’ consumption of particular cultural and aesthetic meanings actually forms our ways of thinking, seals our disconnections, and this video work taunts the viewer to Buy This.

#RefugeeWeek #exhibition “Committed To Represent” at Manchester Central Library by #VirtualMigrants

The “Committed To Represent” exhibition by Virtual Migrants for Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) was exhibited at the youth-led Routes To Roots event on Monday 9th June at the Central Library, for Refugee Month.  The event was organised by Team V Manchester to ‘celebrate Manchester’s cultural diversity and challenge misconceptions around immigration’.

Here are some photos of how it looked:

This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired. The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme. Please contact virtual migrants via www.virtualmigrants.net or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information along with previews of the exhibition are available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.
www.virtualmigrants.net     www.gmiau.org