Here’s a short review of what we got up to at the Platforma Festival in Manchester last November. We hope you’ll accept our apologies for the delay in getting this posted.
In November 2013 World Spirit travelled to Manchester to perform as part of the Platforma Festival. The event brought a wide range of community groups and campaigns together and we felt very lucky to be presenting our work amongst such great organisations and individuals.
After a long journey from Glasgow to Manchester, one of the group members parents, Katie, kindly opened her doors for 11 people to stay for the night. Following a good nights sleep, the group was full of energy for the day ahead! The room provided for World Spirit was perfect for the performance we’d been invited to present and there were about 30 people who came to see the play as part of the festival.
The play we performed – “The Roundabout” – looked into some of the issues faced by asylum seekers who are trapped in the current asylum system created by the UKBA. The performance was well received and the audience said they really loved how the performers ‘truly reflected’ experiences of what asylum seekers go through while seeking asylum. The play aroused strong emotions and brought some members of the audience to tears at certain points within the play. The audience said they thought the play was very ‘powerful’ and moving as it reflected true emotions and scenes from what an asylum seeker would go through.
The second part of the play involved audience participation (forum-ing), and so our Joker, Isabel, facilitated 2 interventions and long discussions around these interventions with audience members. One of the interventions concentrated on how asylum seekers could receive help from different community groups to help with their mental heath condition and for additional support. World Spirit was allocated an hour for the workshop, so we didn’t manage to cover all the different possible interventions but we were able to have some long and interesting discussions with the audience. The asylum process, what happens when you claim asylum, problems faced in UK and many other topics were raised by the audience.
After the performance, we had a great lunch organised by Platforma Festival and cooked by community groups in Manchester. We were very happy to meet people who were passionate about working with the community for social change and in creative workshops. Attending ‘How music can support the rehabilitation of war and torture survivors? Stone Flowers: a case study’ was a great and informative experience. Using musical instruments and walking together to create music was really fun!Overall, the festival was great fun and highly rewarding. Getting positive feedback from the audience and creating a space for discussions allowed the audience and the performers to exchange information about past experience and about how we can work with the community together for future development.
World Spirit would like to thank Platforma Festival for the great event and different workshops which showed problems faced by refugees living in UK and the great work done by different community projects across the country. We hope to return to the Platforma Festival again in the coming year.