A celebration of Brighton’s diversity, Connecting Places: Our Untold Stories, organised by the Brighton and Hove BME Heritage Network, is an opportunity for everyone to hear the authentic voices of some of Brighton’s communities.
A celebration of Brighton’s diversity; an opportunity for everyone to hear the authentic voices of some of Brighton’s communities.
A series of talks, mixed media installations and film screenings, themed around belonging and community, this afternoon was equal parts informative and embracing. Spread out across different galleries in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, the mood was creative and the layout encouraged exploration and engagement.
Upstairs in the Museum Lab, lined with cabinets filled with ‘curiosities’, the informal setting saw locals mingling and friendly faces happy to welcome newcomers and Fringe explorers. Judith Ricketts’ Immaterial Spaces showed enlarged data sets from the Transatlantic Slave Trade from spreadsheets onto two gigantic sheets of paper. The audience walked around and inspected the data, numeric facts made more real by transferring from a digital to physical medium, and particularly effective in the context of Windrush and her lucid powers as a speaker. Beachy Head Lady followed, a fun performance by the Crosspath Theatre inspired by the 2000-year-old skeleton found in Beachy Head, Sussex. Guyanese/British poet Grace Nichols was inspired to give a voice to this mysterious figure, which was brought to life by Teohna Williams. Williams’ performance captured the uncanny defiance in the re-construction of the Beachy Head Lady’s face, aptly capturing the odd middle ground between outspoken and silenced, as, of course, a skeleton is. John Agard gave a passionate performance as the ghost of the father; Nichols’ writing ought to be commended for its originality and playfulness.
This is just a flavour of the talented speakers and shows on offer. Other artists included Phati Mnungi, Lesley Miranda, Nema Dubois, and Spicy & Wise (BandBazi), whose dynamic works gave bright and inspiring insights into identity, proudly telling their untold stories.
Four stars well deserved for an uplifting afternoon of first class storytelling.