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Nottingham Mela Festival 2020 - Online

New Art Exchange, Gregory Boulevard, NOTTINGHAM, Nottinghamshire, NG7 6BE
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Nottingham Mela Festival 2020 - Online

About

Nottingham Arts Mela
Events from Monday 27 July to Sunday 23 August 2020
Online


Nottingham Arts Mela goes online in 2020 This years mela festival, UK’s oldest is back but this time in the digital realm.
From 27 July to 23 August the festival will present a daily creative provocation, featuring on new festival digital platforms.

There will be a full back to back weekend launching Friday 21 August delivering through to Sunday 23 August.

Online cooking, films featuring South Asian diaspora world wide, music, dance, debates, poetry and spoken word, family art workshops,
murals, archives activated, morning raags and yoga… a full flavour of culture responding to these unprecedented times. The premise
this year is Climate, Changed… where Mela seeks a new braver truth to save our planet, its life and nature.

The artists will be announced on a weekly basis over the four week period.

The Mela in Nottingham is the oldest South Asian Mela in The UK/Europe. Since 1988 it has always been presented outdoors across
Nottingham sites, recently at the Arboretum, Castle, New Art Exchange and Hockley district. The Mela provides multiple representations
of art and culture from South Asian diaspora artists and communities. Each year it reinvents based on a curatorial premise.

 

Podcast Provocations: Shehzad Chowdhury and Poulomi Basu
Shehzad Chowdhury: Provocations to Connect
Wednesday, 29 July 2020
7-8pm

Shehzad Chowdhury reflects on art and life during the time of lockdown from his meditation. Two different podcasts, in English and Bengali.

Poulomi Basu: Centralia
Poulomi Basu exposes an invisible conflict between a guerilla army, an indigenous people and the Indian state, associated with wider issues of environmental degradation. 

Eco-Dialogues: Shehzad Chowdhury, Poulomi Basu, Kavya Gopal (XR) and Ritika Biswas
8-9pm

Join Shehzad Chowdhury, Poulomi Basu, Kavya Gopal, and Nottingham Arts Mela curator Ritika Biswas as they discuss the impact of the climate crisis in South Asia, its socio-political and economic consequences, especially for vulnerable sections of our communities, and how art helps expose, articulate, and heal these ruptures.


Film Night 1: Sites of Rupture
Thu, 30 July 2020 - Saturday 1 August
8pm
 

Jennifer Rainsford: Ask the Flowers of the Tree – Bengaluru, India; Sweden

Ask the Flowers of the Tree is a short-sci film, set in Bangalore, telling the story from a distant future of how two former lovers are reunited in a virtual forest created by an artificial intelligence. Flowers are talking, the forest is shifting colors while fighting virtual wars and the former couple realise they can't change the past.

Rohini Devasher: Terrasphere – Delhi, India

Terrasphere builds on the idea of terrariums, a form of miniature ecosystem for plants usually contained within glass containers that evoke qualities of fragility and buoyancy. Embracing concepts of biospheres and self-sustaining ecosystems, this work is created by the stacking of 59 still images in a timeline. Each image is a construct of many layers of photographs and drawings, both from the artist’s collection of images taken on visits to botanical gardens, nurseries and parks, and images sourced from the public domain.

Smriti Mehra: Authanakoota (Banquet) – Bengaluru, India

Authanakoota, in the local language (Kannada), refers to a large gathering that comes together for a ceremonial meal. This narrative is situated on a pig farm on the outskirts of Bangalore city in India.

Ramesh Laxman Rao Holbole: Aagaswadi (Village in the Sky) – Maharashtra, India

Being at the epicenter of a drought prone region, the village of Aagaswadi is located in Satara District on the hills of Mann in Maharashtra, India. Owing to ever occurring drought followed by lack of livelihood options, the village’s youth is forced to abandon home for city life ,leaving behind the old and children. With neither sufficient drinking water nor irrigation facilities, out of desperation, Bhimrao digs a well to quench his own as well as his farm’s thirst. This documentary portrays the people of Aagaswadi and their confrontation with drought and other adversities, as well as relations affected by it.

Devadeep Gupta: Normalization of a Disaster – Assam, India

The Baghjan Oil Blowout happened on the 27th of May, which caught fire through a massive explosion on the 9th of June 2020 after leaking gas in the atmosphere for two weeks, continues to burn as of today (20th July). This artificial disaster in an Oil-India Limited owned site has caused the displacement of more than 1600 families who were in the vicinity of the site of gas blowout, and are currently being sheltered in makeshift relief camps in nearby areas. People who grow up in Assam are acquainted with the word ‘disaster’ at a rather early age; it’s a word that has been enforced into the local psyche through systematic acquaintance. Disasters such as the Baghjan Oil-blowout bring the curious onlookers, the ones who make such disasters an object of spectacle to be posed, pictured, and shared with their digital network: the disaster tourists. These disaster tourists reinforce the state of normalization within the populace and reflect upon the daily lives of the unaffected neighbors.

Madyha Jan Leghari: Hairless – Pakistan

A fictional city grapples with an inexplicable, complete loss of hair. Posited both as an extension and the boundary of a body, hair occupies a liminal position between the animate and inanimate ‘dead’ matter. Since the influence of evolutionary thought in the nineteenth century, comparative hairlessness in humans has been the subject of extensive cultural debate and resultant shift in its value. ‘Excessive’ human hair is variously associated with sexual inversion, the primitive, the criminal, the pathological, the diseased, the beast or even the lunatic. The film satirizes these accounts by removing the supposed evolutionary obstacle posed by hair. However, the resultant world is that of tactile longing, sensory deprivation, and eco-anxiety.

Aakash Odedra Studio Series: Akash Parekar
Friday, 31 July

8-8:40 pm

Short Alap or Jhalla in Raag Gujri Todi
Raag Guri Todi is one of the most profound raags in Hindustani classical music as it is able to show every conceivable human emotion throughout its phrasing. This intoxicating performance is followed by an in-conversation between sitarist Akash Parekar and Aakash Odedra.

Moments of Music and Dance: Wahab Shah
Saturday, 1 August

8-8:30 pm

Organised Chaos
Wahab Shah’s performance, based around climate change and shot on the streets of Pakistan, will explore the existence and influence of the Rub, Faqeer and Tamasha in the present world.

Everyday Yoga: Kajal Nisha Patel
Sunday, 2 August

10:00 am  11:00 am

Over four sessions, Kajal will provide an introduction to the eightfold path to yoga. You will be guided through a different sequence of physical postures. In addition, you will be invited to extend your learning off the mat, by incorporating aspects of the Yamas and Niyamas into your week, through short exercises which will help you to become more mindful in your daily life.

Create & Learn: Sohan Kailey
Sunday, 2 August 2020
11:00 am  - 12:00 pm


Jungle Safari Family Dance
A group of animal friends help protect the Amazon rainforest which has come under threat because of man-made disasters. This engaging workshop uses dance, music and animal puppets such as dinosaurs, jungle safari animals such as tigers, bears, elephants, snakes, monkeys, giraffes. A fun way to learn about well-being, the cultures we live in and the environment.
 

Midday Message: Faiza Butt
Mon, 3 Aug 12:00 pm and Sun, 9 Aug 11:55 pm

The Politics of Gender/Power

Faiza’s exploration and reflection upon issues of gender, culture and the structures of power throughout society, using the human face and form to narrate her stories.

Online Kitchen: Taco & More
Monday, 3 August 2020
6-7 pm


Join Rajesh and Swati and learn how to make their very own Chicken Tikka Taco with veggie salsa. Check the recipe here.

Beginnings of Mela: Jenny Moran with Shin Parwana
Tuesday, 4 August 2020
7:45 pm  8:00 pm

This week, Jenny talks to Shin Parwana who was a performing artist at Nottingham’s first Mela in 1988. As a part of DCS bhangra band, he will share with Jenny his memories of the event, and perhaps a tune or two!

UNESCO City of Literature: Manjit Sahota
Tuesday, 4 August 2020
8:00 pm  8:30 pm

Love Poetry, Hate Bigotry
Manjit Sahota performs a collection of his own poems which explore the impact of immigration, migration, British Empire and racism on his life and the collective Asian experience. Through his poetry, Manjit will start a conversation with the audience about the role the British Empire plays in our history and heritage, and will offer a vision of what may make up our identity in the future.

Podcast Provocations: Tasawar Bashir
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
7:00 pm  7:15 pm

Houseboat Press
This series of podcasts sees Tasawar Bashir seek the stories, characters and languages of residents of Sparkhill, Birmingham, in an attempt to capture the diverse, complex Kashmiri diaspora community.

Podcast Provocations: Nadia Whittome MP
Wednesday, 5 August 2020
7:15 pm  8:00 pm

A Radical New
Nadia Whittome will be in conversation with Skinder Hundal, Director of New Art Exchange, to explore some of the key and critical challenges and opportunities facing society. As a radical woman of colour the conversation will deconstruct contexts and realities for a progressive and inclusive futurism. We face complex disparities in these unprecedented times to shape new ways of being, so join us and let’s explore the role of politics, art and culture in making radical change.

Aakash Odedra Studio Series: Kaviraj Singh
Friday, 7 August 2020
8:00 pm  9:00 pm

An exploration of the morning raag through santoor and voice by Kaviraj Singh. The soundscape of the raag is followed by a vocal composition depicting the happiness of a beloved returning home.

Moments of Music & Dance: Sonia Chandaria Tillu
Saturday, 8 August 2020
8:00 pm  9:00 pm

Āgraha
Āgraha (unyielding) is a digital performance of stunning contemporary dance by Sonia Chandaria Tillu, with influences of Kathak and Flamenco, choreographed by Jose Agudo with music composed by Bernhard Schimpelsberger.

Everyday Yoga: Kajal Nisha Patel
Sunday, 9 August 2020
10:00 am  11:00 am

Over four sessions, Kajal will provide an introduction to the eightfold path to yoga. You will be guided through a different sequence of physical postures. In addition, you will be invited to extend your learning off the mat, by incorporating aspects of the Yamas and Niyamas into your week, through short exercises which will help you to become more mindful in your daily life.

Create & Learn: Shamila Chady
Sunday, 9 August 2020
11:00 am  12:00 pm

Family Arts & Crafts
Join Shamila to explore the themes of this year’s Arts Mela, Climate, Changed. Using a wide range of arts and craft materials, this workshop is fun for all the family.

Midday Message: Nirvair Rai and Maryam Wahid
Mon, 10 Aug 202012:00 pm  Sun, 16 Aug 202011:55 pm

Nirvair Singh Rai: Imagined memories
Nirvair Singh Rai traverses through the lost landscape of Bombay, which was once a city dense with wildlife and forests, and try understand the unaccountable and insatiable interventions that snatched from its geography its original inhabitants, and replaced with concrete.

Maryam Wahid: The Styles and Trends of The South Asian Diaspora in Britain
Women from the South Asian diaspora have transformed gender roles for women and developed their community. They have provided a crucial envelopment of familiarity and comfort that gave their husbands, fathers, children and grandchildren a sense of their place of origin – making it a home away from home. Maryam’s self-portrait collection seeks to recognise the existence and achievements of such women and their role as the backbone of a community.

Curry Tales: Rani Moorthy
Monday, 10 August 2020
6:00 pm  7:00 pm

Excerpt from a live performance in Leeds Playhouse in 2006. Performed in Tamil by Rani Moorthy, a poor woman has to beg the audience for her ingredients with unexpected results.

Mela 30 years on: Jenny Moran with Jyoti Lata Kainth
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
7:45 pm  8:00 pm

Jyoti performed at Nottingham Arts Mela in 2018, her father, Shin Parwana (DCS) also performed at this festival which celebrated its 30th year. This week, Jenny chats to Jyoti about her dance career and her experience of the Mela.

UNESCO City of Literature: Nafeesa Hamid
Tuesday, 11 August 2020
8:00 pm  8:30 pm

An observational and celebratory recollection of Nafeesa’s teenage years in Alum Rock, Birmingham, one of the most economically deprived areas of the city.

Podcast Provocations: Tasawar Bashir
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
7:00 pm  7:15 pm

Houseboat Press
This series of podcasts sees Tasawar Bashir seek the stories, characters and languages of residents of Sparkhill, Birmingham, in an attempt to capture the diverse, complex Kashmiri diaspora community.

Podcast Provocations: Ibrahim Ahmed
Wednesday, 12 August 2020
7:15 pm  7:30 pm

The Sun Rises from the East (audio)
+
Amidst the Absence, My Presence is Felt (video)
Edited by Phoebe Boswell, special thanks to Phoebe Boswell.

Aakash Odedra Studio Series: Hiren Chate

Friday, 14 August 2020
8:00 pm  9:00 pm

Tabla Solo: 16 Beats Cycle (Teentaal)

This short solo, set in the rugged landscape on the outskirts of Leicester, consists of a small peshakar in the beginning followed by a Kayda from Punjab gharana. Another composition called Rela is played followed by a Tukda and one bedam Chakradhar. With Hiren Chate.

Film Special: Jagdish Patel
Fri, 14 Aug 202011:55 pm  Sat, 15 Aug 202012:05 am

Jagdish Patel: Presence/Absence and the Melting Snow

As the world celebrates VJ Day 70, and India and Pakistan celebrate independence, this 10-minute film will weave the memories of the presence of Indian soldiers during WWII to present.

Moments of Music & Dance: Soothsayers with Arieb Azhar
Saturday, 15 August 2020
8:00 pm  9:00 pm


Afrobeat Meets Dhamaal
Both the West African and the Qalandari spiritual traditions of Pakistan use music to induce trance-like states of ecstatic rapture among their communities. UK-based Soothsayers, founded by Robin Hopcraft and Idris Rahman, collaborate across continents with Sufi musician Arieb Azhar and his team from Pakistan to create two songs that organically explore the connection between the two cultural streams.

Everyday Yoga: Kajal Nisha Patel
Sunday, 16 August 2020
10:00 am  11:00 am


Over four sessions, Kajal will provide an introduction to the eightfold path to yoga. You will be guided through a different sequence of physical postures. In addition, you will be invited to extend your learning off the mat, by incorporating aspects of the Yamas and Niyamas into your week, through short exercises which will help you to become more mindful in your daily life.

Create & Learn: Sona Lisa Dance Company
Sunday, 16 August 2020
11:00 am  12:00 pm

Around the World in 30 Minutes! Dance Workshop
A fun-filled world dance workout for all ages and abilities thoughtfully curated right from pulse raiser to cool down by Sonia Chandaria Tillu (Artistic Director, Sona Lisa Dance). Move in minutes from afro-fusion to bhangra, flamenco to hip hop, jive to tribal belly dance! Expect 30 minutes of continuous bitesize world dance experiences in this global collaboration of South Asian artists, namely Vishesh Mehta (UK), Parita Pathak Bose (New Zealand), Astha Desai (UK), Raveena Singh (India), Priya Majithia (Kenya), Mansi Gandhi (India), Pranav Yajnik (UK), Neesha Radia (Dubai).

UNESCO City of Literature: Rupinder Kaur
Tuesday, 18 August 2020
8:00 pm  8:30 pm


A series of four poems – two in English, two in Punjabi – which consider and explore language, freedom, dreams, reality and desire through the topical lens of the coronavirus pandemic. By Rupinder Kaur.

Podcast Provocations: Tasawar Bashir
Wednesday, 19 August 2020
7:00 pm  7:15 pm


Houseboat Press
This series of podcasts sees Tasawar Bashir seek the stories, characters and languages of residents of Sparkhill, Birmingham, in an attempt to capture the diverse, complex Kashmiri diaspora community.

 

Opening Times

Nottingham Mela Festival 2020 - Online (27 July 2020 - 23 Aug 2020)

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