‘It’s about finding strength to exist and resist’

From left, Masha Alyokhina, Belarus Free Theatre co-founding artistic director Natalia Kaliada, and, BFT general manager and producer Clare Robertson
From left, Masha Alyokhina, Belarus Free Theatre co-founding artistic director Natalia Kaliada, and, BFT general manager and producer Clare Robertson

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JOURNEYS FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME

n October 10-22: Look Up. Delivered in partnership with Aspex, is a high-impact, large-scale outdoor visual arts exhibition on the exteriors of selected buildings across Portsmouth’s cityscape. Look Up presents Greek artist Nikos Papadopoulos’s colourful series Plasticobilism - a series of images inspired by the artist watching his young son play with Playmobil figures, the exhibition provides a thought provoking comment on current refugee issues.

The Plasticobilism project in the Look Up exhibition by Nikos Papadopoulos

The Plasticobilism project in the Look Up exhibition by Nikos Papadopoulos

n October 12, 17, 19: Coffee Shop Conversations. A free opportunity for the public to discuss and exchange views with refugee artists over the domestic ritual of coffee and cake. Taking place at Aurora, Javalicious and Guildhall Café, each session is facilitated by a chairperson with guests including Malcolm Little from British Red Cross, novelist and poet Miriam Halahmy, and Dr Nora Siklodi, lecturer in politics and European studies.

n October 21: Sanctuary & Sustenance: The Story of Many Journeys to the UK. A multimedia projection of photography, film, music and in the stunning setting of Portsmouth Cathedral. Viewers have an opportunity to trace the journey of a family during the catastrophic events of displacement, on to their path of sanctuary, and through the long process of rebuilding life in a new community.

n October 13: Pop Up Theatre. A free theatre performance at a non-traditional outdoor theatre venue, this is an immersive, interactive piece of dance-theatre fusion by New Theatre Royal and Pamodzi Creative Productions. Entitled 10,000 Missing Children, the production explores the current refugee crisis, with specific focus on the 10,000 refugee children who are currently missing in Europe.

n October 15: Kite Making and Flying Workshops. Portsmouth Guildhall will host two interactive kite flying projects for all ages to enjoy the historic, cultural tradition. International Kite Project uses innovative digital technology and projections that allow the public to design and fly kites – virtual kite flying! – over the landscapes of Syria, India and Afghanistan, where Kite Culture is widely popular. The project is delivered with Inspirate.

A scene from Burning Doors

A scene from Burning Doors

n October 10-22: The Container Project. A shipping container will be transformed into an innovative project space in University of Portsmouth’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Eldon Building Courtyard. The container will host the WELL COME Project, in partnership with Aspex, the British Red Cross and Friends Without Borders. WELL COME will engage young participants from the refugee and asylum seeker community in visual arts workshops leading to an exhibition of their work. Southsea based artist M-One will guide participants to spray the façade of the Container with a design highlighting the theme of the festival.