In disconcerting times such as we are living through, it is cultural institutions that normally shine a radical light to help show the way. It is their space that can open and accommodate relevant conversations about the most important issues of the day through which ideas can be shared with the hope of creating fresh visions for the future.
Without that facility, and in response to current societal events, the on line presence of Traverse 3 is stepping up with the presentation of monthly virtual Happenings that will feature some of the today’s creatives and cultural practitioners.
Every month the theatre will present two companion pieces from artists, academics, cultural leaders or political representatives who, in their own way, will be reflecting on a pressing societal issue. Like all good theatre, the aim is to provoke and challenge as well as entertain, ultimately asking how we can create a more equitable society that gives a voice and a chance to everyone.
Marking the end of this year’s Black History Month, the Traverse is releasing two pieces by May Sumbwanyambe and Natasha Thembiso Ruwona that explore the representation and misrepresentation of black people.
In the video essay, The Stories We Tell About Black Lives, academic, playwright and screenwriter, May Sumbwanyambe uses his personal experiences to explore the concerning portrayal of black people in the media.
In a mediation on history, identity and memory, Natasha Thembiso Ruwona’s first film from her in dreams i series, Happening,responds to black geographies and how black people fit into spaces either physically or metaphorically.
Co-Artistic Director Designate at Traverse Theatre Debbie Hannan said, “With all that 2020 has brought, it’s now become the year that we are all tasked, both in personal education and action, to confront societal issues and inequality head on. These Happenings are an offering – a way to begin conversations, to hear reflections and to commit a time and space, albeit a virtual one, to pressing topics that are ours, collectively, to better.”
The Traverse will be also hosting live response sessions, the first of which will be held on Friday 20th November at 7.30pm, where audiences can ask questions directly to the creators involved in the Happenings.
Audiences are welcome to respond either through commenting on the videos, using the #TravHappenings hashtag on social media.
Happenings, that is presented in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, and curated and produced by Wezi Muhra, will include as future contributors Harry Josephine Giles, B Camminga, Robert Softley Gale and Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan. By the end of 2020, it is estimated that the Traverse Festival events will offer paid opportunities of up to 200 freelance artists, makers, facilitators, contributors and creatives.
Tickets: Free Age 12+