World Event Young Artists 2012
Hello! I am a Bolivian writer, who has come all the way from South America, to share this fabulous encounter of 1000 artists, 100 nations, 10 days in your beautiful city: World Event Young Artists. It has been wonderful in many ways, and since probably you have been working or otherwise engaged, I will tell you a bit of what you have missed.
I can only speak of what I’ve been doing, since every day has been packed with activities and excitement amongst all the ranges of art (well, not all, but nearly). Theater, performance, gastronomy, music, literature, visual arts; they all were part of what was going on. Since I won’t be able to tell you about all of it, let me tell you about what I could accomplish in one
day, Thursday 13 September:
Breakfast: The venue held morning and evening meals at Nottingham Castle for us artists, where we could meet, chat and book tickets for the events of the day. All of them were free. The meals were prepared by Homemade Cafe 2; and they were good and quite fulfilling, thank you guys! (I only have one complaint about the water bit, but more on that later).
Nottingham Castle - Breakfast venue for the WEYA artists
To a school then: many primary schools were open to interaction with volunteering artists that shared their experiences with different age groups. For me the opportunity to see how English and other nationalities children would interact was, to say the least, very rewarding. One photo I took showed the different elements to be used in Religious class: Hindu, Buddhism, Christian, Jewish and Muslim were all there together. I was brought up in a Catholic not-so-tolerant environment, and one thing I could highlight about the whole of the WEYA event was its message for Peace, on all levels and accounts.
In the middle of the day I managed to arrive to Royal Concert Hall for one poetry performance called I Gaze From My Kitchen Like an Astronaut - Liz Berry, Kayo Chingony and Amy Key - who worked with a theatre director and designer to create new worlds of poetic pleasure and provocation. Produced by Jaybird3, these poetry shows borrowed the tricks of the theatrical trade to heighten the performances of talented and inventive poets, and their effect on the audience was truly powerful.
Joe Bone - Bane 1, 2 and 3
Midday, I have to run. The distance between Royal Concert Hall and Lakeside Art Centre is not exactly small. At two in the afternoon there will be a stage play I want to see: Joe Bone, presenting Bane 1, 2 and 3, as part of the festival. With no props, mics or costume changes, the trilogy fuses physical theatre, gesture and mime, with a live guitar score, to create a filmic illusion on stage. This guy, single-handedly, manages to be all the characters and sound effects of an action packed movie on stage, and he is good, there is no other way to describe it!
Exhausted, I get to the residence to rest before dinner. Best of British and Olili’s african cuisine await me; the better of two very different worlds. Philip Brodie of Hallgarten Druitt wines made a remarkable effort, providing all who assisted with an assortment of Latin American,
Californian and New Zealand wines with a pretty good combination of local foods. After that, I walked from Fat Cat Café to Cast Restaurant to dip my fingers into a spicy dark sauce that combined lamb, wild mushrooms, nuts and cassava. Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) chef Zako Olili Larissa Armelle Renee gave us love and warmth trough her kitchen and we celebrated her efforts with sheer enthusiasm.
Night now, Nottingham lights are dimming, we get across the Market Square towards Nottingham Contemporary, (all of our new friends are there), ready to experience an evening of contemporary music featuring Sulk Station and Ayanna Witter-Johnson. After the music is played, the party goes on… on Friday morning I was ready to start all over again.
For all of us, WEYA was a one time only experience that needed the cooperation of hundreds of people, art galleries, universities and Nottingham City Council, among others, to work. It was really a major effort and a hell of a thing to accomplish, for that, my congratulations goes to all involved.
This brings me to the water bit: the only tiny thing I found I could complain about. In Bolivia, and the larger part of South America (with the probable exceptions of Argentina and Chile) tap water is not safe, we have to boil it in order to drink it. Here, however, tap water is perfectly
fine. I can assure you. In our lunch bags, every day, I found myself with yet another plastic bottle filled with water. If I did the math correctly; WEYA meant using ten thousand water bottles, a terrible plastic waste. I for one kept to my first water bottle and then I refilled it with you very nice tasting, good to drink, tap water. Surely we could all have done the same?
Enough of that: on the whole, this experience meant a lot to all involved, we all learned from each other, were awed with each other artworks and performances, and found Nottingham people extremely nice and collaborating. Let us hope we can all expect another event of this kind soon, it would be a shame to waste the skills learnt, and all the experience gained in this process.
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