From 31 May - 3 June 2018 a PUSH delegation visited Edinburgh International Children's Festival for the final PUSH activity for the project. The Children's Festival, produced by Imaginate, is Scotland's international arts festival for young audiences and has been running for 29 years. The festival showcased 14 productions from Scotland and around the world alongside a programme of delegate events for industry colleagues (rehearsed readings, discussion events, works in progress, networking events). The PUSH group were part of the full festival delegation which this year consisted of 305 delegates attended the Children's Festival from 24 different countries offering a huge networking opportunity for the PUSH group.
In order that we could all spend time thinking about all three project topics, the visit was split into two. On Friday 1 June, we focussed on Migration seeing We come from far, far away by NIE which explores the journey of two Syrian boys to Oslo and a work in progress, Paper Memories by Jabuti Theatre (involving four artists from the Migration Lab - Rachael Macintyre, Claricia Kruithof, Niroshini Thambar and Jonathan Lloyd). This was followed by a panel discussion with Children's Festival delegates exploring making work for young audiences around migration stories.
On the evening of Friday 1 June, we saw Baba Yaga by Shona Reppe (PUSH Gender Lab artist), Christine Johnston & Rosemary Myer before an open party celebrating the end of the project including talks from project partners, artists, Creative Europe and dancing thanks to a gender-themed playlist from DJ and podcast producer Amanda Stanley.
On Saturday 2 June, we focussed on Gender & Sexual Identity and (over)protection through a series of topic-related workshops that artists and partners selected:
Bricking it with Lou Brodie - using 100 red house bricks to explore risk and danger in everyday objects. We'll play together with the bricks making performance moments and exploring the philosophy around destruction, its political nature in relation to children and teens and its creative potential.
What are the words we find for ourselves? with Adam Kashmiry and Luke Pell - a workshop in two parts. The first part a conversation reflecting on Adam’s experience as a trans man, his experience in theatre and those of young people he’s spoken with who have attended Adam (his performance with the National Theatre of Scotland) along with some of Luke’s work creating spaces for people to talk about things they don’t feel they have the right words for. The second part will be a series of smaller facilitated conversations amongst participants exploring some of the questions surfaced and particularly how might we give more weight and voice to young trans people in work for young audiences.
Control Freaks with Lou Brodie - breaking the rules can be fun but giving control away is a whole different ball game. What theatrical and artistic troupes can we utilise that allows us to give control over to our audience in order to explore risk and protection. This session will take the time to explore audience participation and what it can offer artists in making work for young audiences.
Staging Gender with Emma Park and Luke Pell - through a series of simple physical exercises we will explore how gender is staged, the impact of this on the work we see and the ways we can widen how gender is portrayed in the work that gets made.
We finished the visit by seeing Expedition Peter Pan by Het Laagland and then enjoying the infamous Imaginate Ceilidh!
To celebrate the end of the project, the PUSH partners have invited all 42 Lab artists to join this visit and are delighted to confirm that 28 artists are attending with project partners. The full group attending are:
Ådne Sekkelsten (Norway) - PUSH partner & Steering Group
Aideen Howard (Ireland) - PUSH partner & Steering Group
Amalia Herrera (Belgium) - Migration Lab artist
Anna Newell (Ireland) - Gender Lab artist
Beatrice Henckaerts (Belgium) - - PUSH partner
Caitríona Ní Mhurchú (Ireland) - (over)protection Lab artist
Charlotte Alles (Belgium) - (over)protection Lab artist
Claricia Kruithof (Scotland) - Migration Lab artist
Elin Owrenn Rekdal (Norway) - - PUSH partner
Ellen Kilsgaard (Denmark) - Migration Lab artist
Emma Park (Scotland) - Gender Lab artist
Fiona Ferguson (Scotland) - PUSH partner & Steering Group
Geraldine Heaney (Scotland) - PUSH filmmaker
Goele Van Dijck (Belgium) - (over)protection Lab artist
Jaouad Alloul (Belgium) - Migration Lab artist
Jonathan Lloyd (Scotland) - Migration Lab artist
Lucy Gaizely (Scotland) - (over)protection Lab artist
Mamoru Iriguchi (Scotland) - Gender Lab artist
Mari Bø (Norway) - Gender Lab artist
Maryam K. Hedayat (Belgium) - Gender Lab artist
Micaela Kühn (Denmark) - Gender Lab artist
My Lindblad (Denmark) - (over)protection Lab artist
Niroshini Thambar (Scotland) - Migration Lab artist
Pamela Walker (Scotland) - PUSH partner & Steering Group
Pernelle Lorette (Belgium) - (over)protection Lab artist
Pernille Møller Taasinge (Denmark) - PUSH partner & Steering Group
Pete Lannon (Scotland) - (over)protection Lab artist
Rachael Macintyre (Scotland) - Migration Lab artist
Robbie Synge (Scotland) - (over)protection Lab artist
Sarah Louise Kristiansen (Denmark) - (over)protection Lab artist
Signe Errboe (Denmark) - Migration Lab artist
Suzanne Groothuis (Belgium) - Migration Lab artist
Tony Tran (Norway) - Migration Lab artist
Veronica Dyas (Ireland) - (over)protection Lab artist