Premiered at the Mouthy Poet event ‘Say SumThin 5′ fetauring Lemn Sissay as the headliner at Nottingham Playhouse on 15th June. Written by Maresa MacKeith.
09 May 2013 1 Comment
For Maresa it is imperative that she finds alternative ways to express her poems to her audiences, she is unable to talk and has no control over her body, but she certainly has control over her mind and a universe of determination and drive to have her voice heard.
One of the things I love about making films/documentaries is that each project offers a chance to absorb a new culture or look at life from a new perspective each project is totally different form the next… With this project I’m learning a lot about disability and what it’s like for them when they are marginalised by main stream society. Maresa invited me to join her at a Quiet Riot conference where she was asked to deliver a speech and a creative writing workshop. Quiet Riot (organised by Joe Whittaker) is a gathering of people who use facilitated or ‘assisted’ communication. They have a number of objectives, a few of which are: to give people who can’t talk a public profile, to share ideas and to make the public aware that just because they can’t talk doesn’t mean they have nothing to say! (here’s a link for more info onQuiet Riot: http://www.communicationmatters.org.uk/news-item/2011-quiet-riot)
So with Quiet Riots objectives in mind, Maresa has commissioned me to translate her poem ‘Hands’ into a poetry film that will be premiered at Nottingham Playhouse as apart of the Mouthy Poets spoken word extravaganza, Say Sum Thin 5 on the 15th June. If Maresa’s poetry film or the Mouthy Poets are not enough to entice you to the Playhouse, Lemn Sissay will be headlining- three unmissable reasons to buy a ticket!
18 Mar 2013 Leave a Comment
The film will be interviewing WWII Ex Sevice Personnel and their families revealing untold stories and providing a richer and fuller picture of life of that time.
The finished documentary will be screened at various locations in East Midlands and also be available as part of a school learning resource.
17 Feb 2013 Leave a Comment
Premiered at the Mouthy Poets event Say Sum Thin 4 at Nottingham Playhouse
12 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
Nottingham is now home to many people whom originate form various parts of the world and Nottingham Black Archive thought it was time to begin to document these stories, experiences and lessons for future generations. and commissioned me to produce a series of short documentaries entitled Journey’s To Nottingham
The first film focuses on Alain Job, originally from Cameroon but found himself in Nottingham after political turbulence in his native land.
This film (and the others that are planned) will be apart of NBA’s interactive learning resource that is available to hire. The learning resource also encompasses is a three panel exhibition with photographs from the West Indian immigrants of 1960’s, a talk form an elder who will share their experience and answer questions on their journey.
NBA premiered the film at the New Arts Exchange on the 8th November where it was warmly received.
If you are a community organisation that would like to hire the Journey’s To Nottingham interative exhibition please contact the Nottingham Black Archive team at firstname.lastname@example.org/
09 Dec 2012 Leave a Comment
in Films For charities Tags: Dee Bonsior, Faith In People With HIV, HIV Infomercial, HIV Myths, ioney smallhorne, is creative media, Joshua Reid, Kyle Futers, Mia Johnson, Rachael Young, Tequilla Buchanan, YARD Theatre Group, Zara Zabair
I have recently been working with actors from the YARD theatre group who are based in Nottingham and a Leicester based charity, Faith In People With to produce this short infomercial to promote awareness of how HIV can be transmitted and hopefully help squash any misconceptions.
Being an 80’s baby I remember the frightening infomercial, the one with the tomb stone, eerie music and an over zealous smoke machine. The idea was to shock people into taking charge of their sexual health, and the fact that I can still remember the advert must indicate that if nothing else it was unforgettable.
Some twenty odd years since that commercial and HIV is still with us, affecting many peoples lives and a new generation of young people who are born with the illness. Faith In People With HIV is dedicated and focused solely on supporting young people who are born with HIV, and who have to cope with all the baggage, the discrimination, the bullying, the misconceptions that unfortunately are attached to the illness.
The aim of the new infomercial was to reiterate honestly how HIV can be transmitted, (without any scare tactics) and help to squash any myths. This infomercial was screened at the Children’s HIV Association conference and at Leicester Cathedral for World AIDS Day service.
18 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
A few snap shots of me. and fellow Mouthy poets performing at 2012 London Para-Olympics
03 Sep 2012 Leave a Comment
I have recently been collaborating with Sophia Ramcharan of Stella Vision on Nottingham Carnival- Community Extravaganza, a feature documentary that investigated the history of Nottingham Carnival. The purpose of the project was to highlight some of the community heroes that have produced this massive ensemble of music, food, costumes and everything else that goes with a carnival!!!
Notting Hill has always been promoted as being the first carnival in England, but this documentary be able to challenge that accolade. Sophia Ramcharan (Producer) and I, met Woody from St Kitts who organised a parade way back in 1958 on the Embankment.
So far there have been two screenings both at New Art Exchange and the documentary has been meet with an overwhelming positive response.
02 Jul 2012 2 Comments
Controversial poem Sugar Coated Curls features in Through The Aether poetry anthology published by Nottingham University.
The anthology features poems written by students of the MA Professional writing course and members of dynamic performance poetry group Mouthy Poets. Mouthy Poets, the resident performance poetry collective at Nottingham Playhouse meet at weekly workshops not only to write, perform, discuss and challenge poetry but also to organise various poetry lead events such as their bi-annual grand scale poetry phenomenon Say Sum Thin. Like many of my poems, Sugar Coated Curls tackles many complex and sensitive issues such as the trans Atlantic slave trade, racial identity and the mass manipulation of the beauty industry. Sugar Coated Curls has also been translated into a short film produced, directed and edited by yours truly….check it out!
10 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
in docu-film Tags: apples and snakes, bulwell academy, djanogly academy, lyric lounge, Mouthy Poets, new college leicester, nottingham playhouse, perfromance poetry, Shake the Dust, tuxford academy, writing east midlands, youth poetry slam
For the past 10 weeks i have been involved in the biggest youth poetry slam in England…I have been working with professional poet Michelle ‘Mother’ Hubbard facilitating performance poetry workshops with a delightful group of young people in Tuxford Academy. Five other schools or youth groups in the region have also been allocated a poet and a poet shadow to help cultivate the thoughts, emotions and ideas of young people with the intention of writing three poems.
Yesterday at Nottingham Playhouse, the schools and youth groups, Tuxford Academy, New College Leicester, Djanogly Academy, Bulwell Academy and Beckhampton assembled to be apart of the largest poetry slam in UK- Shake the Dust. But this was not a competition- it was more than that, it can only be described as co-operative poetry movement that celebrated the voice of young people! The event i was organised by Apple and Snakes, Writing East Midlands, The Mouthy Poets, Nottingham Playhouse, Lyric Lounge and funded by Arts council.
Not only was i a poet shadow, mentoring the young people I was also commissioned to produce promo videos that documented the development of the project… oh yeh and Tuxford was announced the highest scoring team and will go onto represent the East Midlands in London on the 9th July where they will meet the highest scoring teams from other regions. Congratulations to all the young people that have been working really hard over the past ten weeks- your voices deserve to be heard!
15 May 2012 Leave a Comment
I am pleased to have the opportunity to be performing at the Lively Bird Festival next week. As well as being a documentary maker I’m also a performance poet and am apart of poetry collective Mouthy Poets, who often give an explosive show!!! I have been awarded a 20 minute slot to share some of my latest pieces, you can expect love, humour, social-politico rants and also a premier screening of Tradition, the documentary series I’ve been working on.
13 Apr 2012 Leave a Comment
I have teamed up with Culturebox (social enterprise offering intercultural learning)Ben Harriott and Nottingham Black Archive to produce a series of documentaries called ‘Tradition’.
The Tradition series consists of 6 short documentaries that introduces audiences to world musicians that reside in Nottingham who play traditional instruments. At present musicians include; Ney Corte Real from Angola who presents the hungo and dikanza. The hungo is a single-string percussion instrument, a musical bow. Enslaved Angolans brought the hungo t Brazil where it is called the berimbau and plays a significant role in capoeira.
Mohamed Jaberi hailing from Iran who plays the Daf. The Daf is one of the most ancient frame drums in Asia and North Africa. In Iran, Sufis use the Daf during their Zikr (spiritual chanting) ritual.
Virtuoso Surahata Susso talks about the memorizeing kora. The kora is a 21-string bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa. Kora players have traditionally come from griot families (also from the Mandinka nationalities) who are traditional historians, genealogists and storytellers who pass their skills on to their descendants. The instrument is played in Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Senegal, Burkina Faso and The Gambia.All of the instruments I’ve learnt about during filming have a deep rooted connection to a tradition spanning hundreds of years.
I hope that Tradition demonstrates how foreign people can culturally enrich the communities they migrant to. There is heavy emphasis for immigrants to totally embrace British culture, language and system, but often new the immigrants own culture is not celebrated and respected, as it should.
I plan to interview at least three more musicians from Africa, Asia, or Caribbean and exhibit the short documentary at an event where the musicians can perform and maybe have some food from each of the countries represented.
28 Feb 2012 Leave a Comment
Well why should we pay for anything? In my ideal world all currencies would be burnt on a massive fire where everyone could grill bagels, marshmallows and BBQ all sorts of flavorsome foods, and bartering would reign. But we do not exist in Ioney’s wonderful tasty world and money dictates our living, eating, lifestyles, education, justice and health- unless your lucky enough to be a member of a tribe living in the deep Amazon- but even then people are cutting down the forest to use the trees to make paper and maybe the paper that is used to make money!
When you shop in ASDA or JD Sports or Topshop or Primark and pick up your weekly shopping or latest pair of extortionate trainers or a fashionable garment, can you walk out without paying? (I’m not directing this question to shop lifters) Does the manager of one of the aforementioned stores allow you to select anything you want and politely and knowingly authorize you to walk out with a bag of goods? NO! So why do you expect me to use my creativity, time, resources (which I pay for), ingenuity, to produce a high quality business promo, music video, documentary or flyer for free? I’ll tell you why, it’s because you don’t respect my art, you don’t respect the 5 years I invested in learning my craft at educational institutions, you don’t respect the countless nights I sacrificed without sleep to learn how to manipulate specialist software, you don’t respect the guts I have for perusing a profession in the creative industries. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I will have meetings with ‘clients’ about filming an event or music video, when I raise the question of budget and payment, they look at me as if a giraffe has just popped it’s head out of my right nostril!
It frustrates me when a prospective client say, ‘well I only want a three minute video, it wont take you long’ and then protest when I give them the cost. Yes when you watch the video it lasts for three minutes, but it might take a month (depending what needs to be shot & edited) to produce that video- they have no understanding what it takes to produce that video. Scouting and securing locations (that may have to be paid for), devising and planning the shot list, finding props and costume (that will probably have to be paid for), finding extras (providing lunch and travel expenses- no one wants to be hungry and have to work), filming the many takes that are necessary to make the video interesting, post production- rendering, colour grading, graphic design, recording sound, finding music (which may have to be paid for), consent forms etc etc etc. Ok it depends on what the production is, but I guarantee it will take more than three minutes to make it.
I have worked for free in the past. I wanted to build up my portfolio of work, gain favorable testimonials, recommendation (for paying clients), and links and because I’m a kind hearted person . But I would warn others to be very cautious about working for free. The recipient is under no obligation to return the favor or offer you paid work when they do eventually come across some wonga. Usually what happens is, the recipient comes away with a high quality video, drives home in the comfort of their air conditioned vehicle and then enjoys a bottle of wine and hearty meal, while I am left to walk home to a cold house and a boiled egg (if I’m lucky). Also you have to be careful not to fall into the trap of becoming so used to working for free, to the point where you don’t expect to be paid and you loose respect for your skill and art and die a penniless hungry talented artist. For others to respect your creatively and craft you first must respect it and yourself.
I have recently promised myself not to work for free, but will offer my specialized skills at a reduced rate to the deserving, good causes, people or organizations that simply can’t afford to pay full price. I have taken this stance because last year I did endless work, for countless people for free, to the point where people said “ I’m asking you because I know you’ve got a good heart’- people were basically using my kindness for weakness! I don’t want to become a money grabbing heartless bitch but a creative person has bills and gets hungry just like everyone else.