It has been a busy month for most refugee communities and the art sector across the country as the refugee week was celebrated by festivals and venues from the 18th to 21st of June.
There were two great events in Manchester. The main refugee festival was held at HOME, in collaboration with Community Arts North West and charity organisations such as Rainbow Haven, WAST and other charities working with refugees. I was honoured to be part of this festival with my one-woman show.
I performed One More Push at the New Adelphi Theatre in Salford on the 8th of June. I graduated from Salford University last year and that’s why I chose to collaborate with them. It has been a great experience I would love to work with them again.
My second performance was at HOME, on the 18th of June.
I had a lovely audience at both events and enjoy performing for them.
One More Push is an autobiographical piece, reflecting on my life journey from Iran to the UK and from a journalist and political activist to an artist. That was my first solo show and it received positive feedback from the audience and also a 3-star review by Manchester theatre awards.
Another festival held by Journey’s festival in collaboration with WIthworth gallery. I was involved in that one too. In the last couple of months, I have been busy setting up and a company called Sheba Arts. I managed to find a few strong women as our board of trustees and things are getting into shape slowly.
Sheba Arts is a self-advocacy group that aims to support people and artists from marginalised migrant communities across Greater Manchester.
We managed to have our first public presentation at the refugee day in Whitworth gallery. I ran 18 drama workshops for a group of refugee and asylum seekers who called themselves Women of Courage, and they showcased their work at the event which received great feedback. We are invited to be part of the next Journey’s festival in October 2018 too.
Sheba Arts has managed to secure its first funding from PANDA Arts to produce a website for the group. PANDA Arts is a great organisation and it has been supporting thousands of artists but sadly they are closing down due to funding cuts.
You can follow Sheba Arts Facebook page to stay in touch with what we are doing:
Looking forward to the more great news!