THE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY ! ARTIST PROFILE P. 2 • LES RECONTRES D’ARLES P.4 A TONIC OF TRAILS P.8 • LITERATURE P.10 • RECIPE P.11
Burning sun touches my cheeks, bringing with it a light that I hope will rest with me throughout the months ahead… And I lie, each moment becoming more absorbed by the comforting, warm glow – its touch penetrates and lifts my heart. With it, an expectation, a hope filling my chest… Perhaps they are childhood memories that give me this sensation, perhaps that solar heat, energy, nourishing me, allowing me to emerge from the winter chill and enabling me to generate my own newness, freshness, life… So the seed sewn within me has, once again, the chance to flourish, energised by the world outside, gestating until the moment of release, straight from the soul, pure and razor sharp in clarity… ready, to radiate, waves, as from the sea to the gentle breeze that now caresses my neck… So I see my journey to another, the imperceptible embrace of aura, with which we give and receive. That glow of an idea, thought, expression, impossible without connection, without communication, without the fusion of old and new. Here we stand at that moment, when the strawberry has ripened and we can finally begin to sample the fullness of its flavour. It too, as we are, for the most part, is water… Welcome to this edition of The Exchange on Sunday! Sooree Pillay
Submissions to Sooree@nae.org.uk Deadline every Monday! This issue of ‘The Exchange on Sunday!’ has been put together by: Bethan Davis, Maria Rosaria Digregorio, Skinder Hundal, Sooree Pillay. Set in Merriweather, printed at NAE on Steinbeis MagicColour Pink 80 g/m².
14.07.2013 / #4
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King Jr
THE WEEK AHEAD AT NAE LAUNCH: WONDERLAND Live music and interactive panel discussion – Community project – participate and engage! Wednesday 17 July, 6:30-9pm, free! IN CONVERSATION WITH BIDISHA Join critic, broadcaster and writer on a discussion on gender, class, sexuality and race. Thursday 18 July, 6:30-8pm, £8/£5 concs YARD PERFORMANCE Come and enjoy the sharing of our Young Peoples Theatre Company Saturday 20 July, 6:30-8pm, £4/£3 concs PUERTAS: FIONA MALENA FLAMENCO Live music and flamenco dance Sunday 21 July, 6-7:30pm, £10/£8 concs LAUNCH: OUT OF DA WOOD – BILL MING Come, have a drink and meet the artist! Friday 27 July, 6-9pm, free!
2 • ARTIST PROFILE
Yakshagana performer by SOOREE PILLAY
Yakshagana, literally ‘song of the Yakshas’, is the name of several forms of dancedrama all over South India. Yakshas are celestial beings in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism, but their connection with a traditional theatre remains a mystery. One of the most well-known Yakshaganas is that found in the coastal districts of Karnataka. Traditional plays are based on episodes from the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The oldest manuscripts are from the 16th century, indicating that the tradition may originate even earlier. All-male troupes of actor-dancers stage night-long dramas in the open air to the accompaniment of a singer, drums and cymbals. Devotees make a vow to sponsor a performance to please local deities. Yakshagana is characterised by colourful costumes with impressive headgear, elaborate mask-like makeup, vigorous dancing and eloquent improvised dialogues. The two existing sub-styles differ in costume, dance and music. Yakshagana is adapting to social and cultural changes in many ways, especially by introducing new plots, but its popularity is undiminished. The professional troupes still play night after night during the sixmonth season. Born in Hamburg, and raised close to the danish border, Katrin Binder took up Yakshagana as part of her masters project in India, after completing her degree in Indian Studies at the University
of Tuebingen. Now having lived in Nottingham for three and a half years, she speaks of her journey… I sit, having chatted to Katrin and her daughter, Emmy for a while, reflecting on our conversation, wondering where to start. We have spent time together as mothers, watching our children learn their first steps of Kathak dance, as friends, and more recently, as I have completed a few classes with her in Yakshagana, she becomes something of a mentor, though I am sure she would reject this notion. Katrin speaks fondly of her childhood, surrounded by art in various forms, trips to galleries, books, music lessons from the age of four, choirs, drama, she grew up in artistic circles, her parents introducing her to writers, illustrators, theatre makers and the like. “There are a lot of stories in my family about how I would always move to music, even when I was very small… I remember having that urge to dance very strongly… my mum, she took me to church and I would dance there… she didn’t mind, but a lot of people objected.” As she speaks of dabbling in conventional theatre forms, and brief trials with contemporary dance, the constant seems to have been a “fascination with far away places and people”. Katrin shares with me experiences as a young girl of meeting people who had travelled far, learned languages such as pali, it transpires that she herself first came across the sanskrit language whilst teaching herself yoga from a book. I am surprised, impressed, and this leads us on to her Indian journey. “Going to India… it was a kind of sense of homecoming, even though everything was so strange and so different and at times very challenging… I met very special and wonderful people…” Beginning with Kathakali in Kerala, Katrin tells me she wanted to see everything, she was fascinated by how the dance,
3 • THE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY! music and drama came together with stylised performance techniques, colourful costumes and a strong musical theme. It puts me in mind of my hybridity. The indian in me that had not flourished until I myself came to Nottingham. So we come to her first encounters with Yakshagana… “I was very much drawn to the dance, but felt I had no talent for it so I would focus my thought on the text and musical aspects, but actually when I went and started training and learnt a few steps I didn’t connect with the musical aspect… I had too many western ideas of music in my head… for the movement I was a clean slate, the teacher led me… I felt that I was in a space where I always dreamed I would be.”
her, I feel this sense of deep connection on a spiritual level, not only with the dance-drama form. She explains that the movements helped to ground her, that she has grown to understand the energies of the movements and the stances, that she did this with her guru, listening as well as moving, eating and sleeping this world. Katrin now has begun to teach and perform Yakshagana here in Nottingham. She wants to reframe her practise so that it is relevant within a western context, to give it meaning to those that see and experience it in the UK. “For a while I have wanted to come out of just what I have learnt, though that is still very satisfying, but to explore the possibilities within that tradition as well…”
Katrin has now been practising Yakshangana for twelve years with guru Sanjeeva Suvarna, and explains her relationship with the dance, with her teacher. She says of the artform: “it is something that everyone can connect with, with costumes and movements, there is something, though culturally specific, universal and attractive”, and shares that the form fitted her body, that she had a very close relationship with her guru, living as a daughter of the house.While I listen to
There is still so much to tell, so much to share and learn about Katrin, and as we close, I congratulate her on the publication of her PhD thesis on Yakshagana, we think about our daughters starting out on their own indian journey together through Kathak dance, and look with anticiaption on our imminent collaborations – German, Indian, British… So this art form has travelled, and carries us with it, gently guiding, enriching, transforming itself and us on its way…
Katrin Binder with her guru, Sanjeeva Suvarna
4 • LES RECONTRES D’ARLES
Arles in Black
Les Recontres d’Arles, international photography festival by SKINDER HUNDAL
Set in the picturesque French town Arles, is the International Photography Festival, Les Recontres d’Arles. François Hébel, the director of the 2013 festival, selects a curatorial framework where the black and white image is explored. This, in an age of colour, where the digital image proliferates and dominates the contemporary moment. Arles, a special historic town, not too far from the 2013 European Capital of Culture Marseille, is built on the back of Ligurians, Celtic influences and made into an important trading port by Phoenician traders, later ruled by the Romans. Arles is also a town where many artists have settled. In fact Van Gogh lived here in 1888, and it is here where he painted several famous paintings like Starry Night Over The Rhone. ‘Arles in Black’ is the phrase coined for the festival and Hébel’s enquiry asks the following: What place does black and white photography still hold today – realism or fiction, poetry, abstraction or pure nostalgia? The festival, into its 44th edition, features an impressive list of 50 artists in 50 exhibitions presented across inspiring locations from old train sheds, churches to museums and purpose-built spaces,
Les Recontres d’Arles, flyer 2013.
rearranged to accommodate the images and installations. Impressive partnerships with BMW, Luma Foundation and Olympus, to name a few, offer the festival prestige and strengthen its reputation. I arrive late afternoon on Friday 5 July. I only have 40 hours, including snoozing and boozing time, to see the whole festival. The challenge is on. There were many moments of inspiration at Arles, read on and find out what happened… Alfredo Jarr, an architect exiled from Chile, explores the politics of image and presents his narrative and perspective by transforming a church space into a brilliant, beautiful enquiry. Jarr explores how images and media cover, often obscure, hard hitting truths (examples include the Rwandan genocide and a film The Sound of Silence presented at the heart of the exhibition space) leaving audiences emotionally moved. Gordon Parks, the photographer film maker and civil rights campaigner, appears for the first time in France in a huge show, possibly too large, including a special screening of Shaft in an elevated film room that hovers over the exhibition. The exhibition includes intimate images
5 • THE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY! of Muhammad Ali, documentation and portraits of Black Panther members and a series of booths playing his films.
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In terms of quirkiness there are several artists that engage. For me, Michael Vanden Eekhoudt’s images are absolutely intriguing. He looks at the world’s absurdity through distorted, funny and playful images of animals and their interactions with humans. Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s work is extensive and what seem like an impossible idea somehow is realised in his self portraits. Cristina De Middel documents the impossible dream of Zambia’s space programme and Gilbert Garcin’s eccentric philosophies of life. Other key works include a major retrospective of Sergio Larrain, monochrome and coloured silks of Hiroshi Sugimoto, fashion-inspired images of Viviane Sassen, urban landscapes and the effects of de-industrialisation by John Davies, a major French and South African collaboration – Transition, and Wolfgang Tillman’s new view of the world.
Gordon Parks on Muhammad Ali, in Arles.
These are just some of all the great reasons to visit Arles. There is so much more. Arles is also a hot sunny and happy place to be with vibrant markets, Roman coliseums and arenas and of course, the chilled rosé! See page 9 for ‘A Tonic of Trails’ and read more about Arles and TED Global experiences.
8? 11 to 1 ARD Y p for Sign u People’s Young eptember. re in S Theat ry season Eve show! ate a we cre ree! F Alfredo Jarr in Arles
6 • HOME AND AWAY
Common Culture photo shoot for their upcoming exhibition at NAE: crazy costumes and a lot of fun also in the backstage (8 July, photo by Emma O’Neill and Melanie Kidd)
? 15-25 Aged r u Join o s Panel e’ Peopl Young ery other ev , and seday y! Wedn our sa have y
‘Human Creates, Human Destroys’ launch at NAE (13 June, photo by Roshni Belakavadi)
Preparation for ‘Make Your Mask!’ workshop at NAE (13 June, photo by Armindokht Shoosthtari)
7 â€˘ THE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY!
Steve Smith leaving do, goodbye great NAE Chef, and welcome Alex Clark, our great new one (5 June, photo by Muhammed El Nahas)
Student Tour (26 June, photo by Muhammed El Nahas)
8 • A TONIC OF TRAILS The team at New Art Exchange is constantly out and about searching for great art and inspiration. In this section we are creating a trail and connection to places we visit and artists or instigators. We are keen on sharing with you because they inspire us or touch us deeply. We call it ‘A Tonic of Trails’. The term tonic is musical in its tone and rhythm and certainly intoxicating in its mix.
Miguel Angel Rojas, ‘Serie Faenza’, 1978. Courtesy of Sicardi Gallery.
Ask r regula u o ab t s in classe a ir Capoe k a h t or Ka ! e c n da
The Queeros of Miguel Angel Rojas Federica Chiocchetti’s trail Back in London from Arles in Black I am full of nice memories. As a viewer, apart from the obviously thought-provoking, touching and already ‘uber-reviewed’ Alfredo Jaar, I was particularly intrigued by the subtle ‘queeros’ of Miguel Angel Rojas, a Colombian artist, for whom photography was a way to liberate his sexuality in a very conservative and homophobic 1970s Bogotá.
9 • THE EXCHANGE ON SUNDAY!
TED Global 2013 Sheryl Winarick’s trail Miguel Angel Rojas, ‘David’, 2005. Courtesy of Sicardi Gallery.
Like a contemporary von Gloeden, who used to hide himself among bushes to capture Sicilian boys in bucolic settings in a fin-de-siècle Taormina, Rojas photographed homosexuals that used to gather in a cinema called Faenza, hiding his camera in a little suitcase to capture moments of blurred intimacy. Hiding his camera in the almost clandestine cinema adds a further layer of taboo and charges the photographs Federica Chiocchetti, with even more erotic tension. We Researcher of are overwhelmed photography & literary by a multiplicity of theory, University of gazes full of desire Westminster, SlideLuck that will be difficult London Co-Director, to forget. His more Emaho Magazine recent series David Contributing Editor (2005), the nude from Europe and body of a soldier, independent curator. mutilated by a landmine from the Colombian conflict, is the one that visually recalls the Baron von Gloeden most, with one sad difference: von Gloeden’s models lost their lives in WW1.
The talks that resonated with me this year were tales of courage. A few highlights… TED Fellow Xavier Vilalta, an architect from Spain, shared his experience designing a big shopping mall in the capital of Ethiopia. Developers commissioned him to build a generic, glass-walled behemoth. Instead, he studied the people and culture and countered with plans for a more energy-efficient building with social spaces to foster rather than inhibit local customs. Manal al-Sharif challenged the audience to ponder which is more powerful, government or the will of society. She Sheryl Winarick learned this difficult is an international lesson fighting for immigration lawyer the right to drive, based in Washington DC. commonly believed to be illegal for women in Saudi Arabia. Turns out the law was on her side, and she eventually won her case, but in the process she faced harassment, slander, and even death threats from the community. Holly Morris exposed the extraordinary story of a community in Ukraine who refused to desert their contaminated land after the disaster of Chernobyl. Life would lose joy and meaning, they declared, without physical connection to their ancestors and culture. They would rather die. They are now out-living victims who relocated to healthier environs, and they are happy. Finally, Lesley Hazelton, an agnostic Jew, had the courage to write a biography of Muhammad, uncovering accounts of the Islamic prophet’s early doubt, which she purports is essential to faith. She was met with a full-house standing ovation.
10 • LITERATURE
Ghassan Kanafani by SARA HANY
The 8th of this month marks the memory of the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani. He was a Palestinian journalist, fiction writer and a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. He was born in Palestine then he fled with his family first to Lebanon and then to Syria in the mass exodus when 2/3rd of the Palestinians in what became Israel were ethnically cleansed. Kanafani studied Arabic literature in Syria after which he became a teacher at the Palestinian refugee camps. There, he began writing short stories, influenced by his contact with young children and their experiences as stateless citizens. In 1960 he moved to Beirut and became the editor of several newspapers, all with an Arab nationalist affiliation. His writings evolved around literature and politics, focusing on the Palestinian liberation movement and the refugee experience. Kanafani’s first novel, Men in the Sun, appeared in 1963 which describes the hardship and insecurity of Palestinian refugee life, its political and psychological subtext which had an impact on the Arab cultural and political debate of the time. He also wrote All That’s Left to You (1966), which is considered one of the earliest and most successful modernist experiments in Arabic fiction. His most important works have been written between 1956 and 1972 which is the year that marks his dramatic death at the age of 36.
I heard you in the other room asking your mother, ‘Mama, am I a Palestinian?’ When she answered ‘Yes’ a heavy silence fell on the whole house. It was as if something hanging over our heads had fallen, its noise exploding, then - silence. Afterwards… I heard you crying. I could not move. There was something bigger than my awareness being born in the other room through your bewildered sobbing. It was as if a blessed scalpel was cutting up your chest and putting there the heart that belongs to you… I was unable to move to see what was happening in the other room. I knew, however, that a distant homeland was being born again: hills, olive groves, dead people, torn banners and folded ones, all cutting their way into a future of flesh and blood and being born in the heart of another child… Do you believe that man grows? No, he is born suddenly - a word, a moment, penetrates his heart to a new throb. One scene can hurl him down from the ceiling of childhood onto the ruggedness of the road. Ghassan Kanafani
Due to his efforts in supporting Palestinian rights and being an influential political activist he was killed along with Lamees, his young niece, in a car bomb explosion in front of his house in Beirut. Although his literary work was an expression of the Palestinian people and their cause, it had universal appeal. It was translated into seventeen languages. Many of his books were republished after his death and he was awarded the Lotus Prize for Literature by the Conference of AfroAsian writers.
11 • RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Mosakaa A traditional ArabicGreek-Turkish dish by MUHAMMED EL NAHAS
Mosakaa is a traditional turkish food, but it has come to be traditional in Egypt too. The English name came from modern Greek mousakás, and the Greek name came from the Turkish musakka – roughly the same recipe. The same name and recipe is found throughout the lands that formerly were part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The Turkish name came from Arabic musaqa‘h, literally meaning ‘chilled’. In some Middle Eastern countries, as well as in Turkey, a variety of the same recipe is eaten cold, but mosakaa is served warm. You can make it with beef or without, and you can put slices of potato if you like, I promise when you try it you will never regret it! Ingredients Serves 4, generously. • 4 tbsp olive oil • 3 medium or 2 large aubergines, sliced • 2 large green peppers, sliced • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon • 1 tsp dried oregano • 500g minced lamb • 2 tbsp tomato purée, mixed with 150ml water • small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
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Preparation • Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Cut the aubergines lengthways into 0.5cm slices, and put them on to oiled baking sheets. Brush with olive oil and season. Bake for about 25 minutes until soft, golden and floppy. • Meanwhile, put 2 tbsp olive oil into a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the onion until soft. Add the garlic, cinnamon and oregano and cook for a further couple of minutes, then stir in the lamb. Turn up the heat slightly, and brown the lamb well, cooking until the mixture is quite dry. Stir in the tomato, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat down low and cook for 30–40 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season and stir in the parsley. • Arrange a third of the aubergines and green paper in the base of an oven dish, and top with half the meat. Repeat these layers, then finish off with a layer of aubergine, and top with the sauce. Bake for about 45 minutes until well browned, and then leave to cool for half an hour before serving.
Muhammed El Nahas is a photographer and food stylist from Egypt, he loves food and cooking.
Hatch: Scratched a smorgasbord of fantastic performances inside, outside and throughout New Art Exchange! [www.hatchnottingham.org.uk]
SUNDAY 21 JULY, 1–5PM NEW ART EXCHANGE FREE ENTRY, PAY WHAT YOU THINK!
SOUTHERN ASIAN DANCE-DRAMA, workshop AND performance
SUNDAY 28 JULY, 1-3:30PM NEW ART EXCHANGE £8 (PERFORMANCE + WORKSHOP) BOOK AT RECEPTION!
Yakshagana New Art Exchange 39-41 Gregory Boulevard Nottingham NG7 6BE
0115 924 8630 email@example.com
photo by Julian Hughes
12 • COMING UP AT NAE