Category Archives: Community Arts

The Unremembered – Labour Corps in Sussex in WWI lunchtime talk

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Nicola Benge, Creative Director of Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will give a free talk on the topic of Labour Corps (Service Personnel) in Sussex during WWI to commemorate this forgotten contribution during the Great War. More project information here

This is a lunchtime talk, so feel free to bring a packed lunch to munch on whilst the talk takes place. Coffee and tea will be available for donations.

Book your free place here

Monday 19th November 2-4pm – FREE

Who were the Labour Corps?:

The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.

British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.

Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.

The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups.

Project Details:

We’re pleased to have been commissioned to become a hub in Brighton and Hove by the Big Ideas Company to develop activities with local community groups to explore the history of the Labour Corps – service personnel during World War I, and often forgotten in this part of history.

The Unremembered project background:

This project is about the Labour Corps – Service Personnel in the British Army who have been forgotten and aren’t often commemorated. The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups and draw this forgotten history into the light.

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.

 The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.

British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.

Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.

 

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Wild at Heart project

We have received  funding from The Homity Trust towards a new project called ‘Wild at Heart’. This project is a partnership between Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, the Low Carbon Trust based at Brighton’s Earthship, and the Restorative Justice Department of Children’s Services, in Brighton & Hove City Council.

Our project will deliver a series of planned activities to take place at the Earthship based in Stanmer Park Brighton (The Earthship  was built as a community centre for use by Stanmer Organics, a Soil Association accredited site in Brighton) to deliver training and skills around the environment and local plant life and planting with a group of dedicated young probationers with community service hours to invest in supported learning.

The participants will engage with activities with various groups based at Stammer Organics (next to the Earthship) including the Permaculture Association Plot and Green Woodworking.

With this project, Strike a Light plans to support the community to:

  • Transform a local area
  • Create ownership for service users and the local community
  • Improve local community relations
  • Revitalise the area
  • Pass on creative skills and education
  • Encourage environmental awareness

Between January  and April 2018, this will involve the delivery of a mosaic mural to be situated on the front of the Earthship which will be designed and created through training and workshops with probationers, Probation staff, Low Carbon Trust members, and volunteers. The mosaic would showcase local flora and fauna and be the first sight as visitors enter the Earthship area in Stanmer Park.

We will run 12 weekly sessions at the venue in the park to support this restorative justice, as well as self-managed learning with the young people attending the activities.

We will provide guidance and support for both the Restorative Justice Team, and the participants to learn about local flora and fauna, offer ornithological talks by the South Downs National Park Authority, (also based at Stanmer Park), increase understanding of the heritage of the area, explore the principles of permaculture, and create a beautiful mural which will remain in the location as a testament to this project, and be enjoyed by all visitors to the area into the future.

A key tranche of this scheme will be training ten young offenders, as well as Children’s Service coordinators and Low Carbon Trust Directors and volunteers to learn about the medium of mosaic with the end result being a the participatory creation and installation of community focussed bespoke mosaic mural. This will be sited on the font of the Earthship building on a long term basis to promote sustainable ideals and environmental awareness, including the venue being part of the South Downs National Park.

These activity and learning sessions sessions will be facilitated by a creative practitioner and supported by the Restorative Justice Team who would be responsible for the subsequent health and safety and supervising behaviour.

The participants’ ages range from 10 – 18 years old, with the majority of these being between 13-18 years old. The young offenders are a mix of male and female, however the client base is predominately male. All of the young people live in the Brighton and Hove area and in a mix of in school, college, some form of education, employment or NEET (not in education, employment or training). They include looked after children, as well as those living with parents.

This venue was the first Earthship to be built in England. Earthship Brighton is an off-grid building that heats, cools, powers itself from the sunharvests its water from the sky and treats its wastewater onsite using plants. The venue’s focus has been spreading a positive message of climate change education and helping people to modify their behaviour to live with a lighter carbon footprint through the training and events it offers.

The aims of the Earthship Brighton since it was built 20 years ago, has been deliver a sustainable community centre in response to a genuine local need, change values in the construction industry and inspire positive action in individuals to generate environmental change through modifying people’s behaviour to less carbon intensive lifestyles. This resonates soundly with our project aims to engage with disaffected young people and support their understanding for community involvement and development to the point where they are engaged in a way that means they would be less likely to re-offend.

This project offers a new opportunity for engagement, lifelong learning and enjoyment, whilst offering participants, volunteers and staff the facility to support youth involvement and gain relevant sills themselves. This project will also allow volunteers to contribute their own ideas to the project in the form of the final mural design.

Outcomes from this project will be:

  • The youth offending community to feel a proud sense of ownership within their locality
  • Improving lock spaces that require renovation
  • Creating a locally based project combining creative arts and environmental themes.
  • A new bespoke mosaic mural supporting a colourful, safe community spaces

Trench Brothers concert – Wed 17th October, Brighton Dome

Trench Brothers

A new music theatre work commemorating in Brighton the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War through music, theatre and puppetry.

Strike a Light has been part of the Trench Brothers project with HMDT Music and this great event is part of this on Wednesday 17th Oct at the Brighton Dome. There’s still tickets available here: https://brightondome.org/event/18306/trench_brothers/

Trench Brothers concert

Music: Julian Joseph and Richard Taylor

Libretto: Tertia Sefton-Green

Trench Brothers is a new music theatre work commemorating in Brighton the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War through music, theatre and puppetry, bringing to life their hopes and fears, their longing for home, their camaraderie, courage and valour.

Directed by Clare Whistler and Freya Wynn-Jones to Neil Irish’s designs, it features over 250 children from local primary schools in Brighton, Newhaven, Lewes and Seaford alongside acclaimed jazz vocalist of the year and MOBO nominated Cleveland Watkiss and ‘superb’ (The Times) opera singer Damian Thantrey.

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Renowned jazz composer Julian Joseph and award-winning composer Richard Taylor are joined by composers Michael Betteridge, Jenny Gould, Matthew King, James Redwood and Omar Shahryar in a unique collaboration drawing together work developed with schools across London, Lancashire and the South East since 2014.This powerful centenary event is made all the more poignant by its location in Brighton Dome, which served as an Indian Military Hospital during the war.

There will be a pre-performance talk about the creation of Trench Brothers with Julian Joseph, Richard Taylor and Tertia Sefton-Green. Tickets to the evening performance also give access to the pre-performance talk.

http://www.hmdt.org.uk/hmdtmusic/trenchbrothers/performance/

HMDT
Trench Brothers project in partnership with Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage

The Unremembered – Project dates for Brighton

Project Details:

We’re pleased to have been commissioned to become a hub in Brighton and Hove by the Big Ideas Company to develop activities with local community groups to explore the history of the Labour Corps – service personnel during World War I, and often forgotten in this part of history.

Events:

Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will deliver workshops in October and November 2018 (We will confirm dates very soon) in Brighton and Hove with ten different groups in ten different venues across the city to look at the theme of The Unremembered. We aim to commemorate the Labour Corps service personnel and their experiences.

Free drop in families puppet making sessions (at following venues and times):

  • Monday 29th October – 1.45-4.15pm: ONCA at The Barge, The Waterfront, Brighton BN2 5UU
  • Thursday 1st November – 12-3pm: Brighton Open Market, Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU
  • Saturday 24th November – 12-5pm: Black History Day at The Dome, Brighton.
  • Sunday 25th November – 11-1pm: Jubilee Library, Jubilee Square, Brighton.

and

Monday 19th November 2-3pm: Talk on Labour Corps and Sussex at Strike a Light, Brighton Open Market, Studio 8 (Mezzanine), Marshalls Row, Brighton BN1 4JU.

*** More dates tbc ***

The Unremembered project background:

This project is about the Labour Corps – Service Personnel in the British Army who have essentially been pretty forgotten and aren’t really commemorated anywhere. The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups.

Who were the Labour Corps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.

 The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.

British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.

Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.

Events:

We are working engaging with freelancers and volunteers to deliver a series of history and resource led activities which focus on the art of making articulated paper puppets (a common past time a centenary ago) with community groups and families.

These puppets are a mixture of pre-printed on cardboard outline templates which can then be designed, created and compiled by participants and for those with dexterity issues or the very young, pre-designed printed templates which can be assembled with support and displayed.  We will use fabric scraps, wrapping paper and wall paper to create overlaid uniforms for these puppets and to bring them to life.

We will also create activities to create dressing paper dolls, so creating the one dimensional paper dolls through templates which are cut out and then one dimensional clothing made relevant to our theme which can then be folded over the puppet body. These dolls were popular during WWI and were still printed then despite paper shortages.

Both these forms of puppet making are ideal for classroom and community projects because they are made with everyday craft supplies and reused materials.

The puppet theme for this project is two-fold – one that it is an engaging and accessible way to teach young people and community groups who are unaware of this lost period of history about the Labour Corps, and secondly that the puppets can be seen as a metaphor for the role of the Labour Corps in terms of having no control over their work or location, that they were moved around like mules and essentially treated as such too. This will be a way to valorise those men and celebrate their role.

This will help to remember some of the soldiers who served with the Labour Corps and their link with Sussex and draw this forgotten history into the light.

https://strikealight.org/projects/the-unremembered-project/

 

That’s all from AfrikaBa 2018!

That’s AfrikaBa for another year! Thank you to all the wonderful people who came to our varied cultural activities in Hastings in September and October.

We hope to see you again in 2019!

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Strike a Light partnered with AfriKàBa, the Hastings based festival of African and Caribbean heritage, arts and culture, alongside Hastings Borough Council, and the Electric Palace Cinema.

AfriKàBa is an annual festival that showcases high quality work from artists with African and Caribbean heritage and engages audiences with unique and enriching experiences.

We had funding to provide free activities that positively promote African Caribbean culture, crafts and food including:

  • African Caribbean family activities for the public, all ages and backgrounds.
  • Drumming and singing workshops
  • Storytelling for families
  • Demonstration and tasting of East African  cooking at the flagship facility Classroom on the Coast.

We received funding from the Chalk Cliff Trust to deliver these activities and for this many thanks!

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Indian Soldiers in Brighton & Hove in WWI talk- Shoreham Wordfest

Indian soldiers talk - Wordfest

This evening!

An event to celebrate Black History Month

Presented by Creative Director of Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage Nicola Benge about the period of history around Indian Soldiers at Brighton Pavilion in WWI and also in conversation with author and teacher Umi Sinha, who will read and discuss extracts from her novel, ‘Belonging’.

This will be followed by a live Q+A with speakers.

Approximately 1.3 million Indian soldiers served in World War One, and over 74,000 of them lost their lives, but history has mostly forgotten these sacrifices.

This hour-long illustrated talk (from both fact and fiction perspectives) explores how the presence of Indian Soldiers hospitalised at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton between 1915- 1916 impacted on the city and the soldiers themselves during the First World War and beyond.

Monday 8th October 7.30pm at Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham.

Tickets available for £6: https://ropetacklecentre.co.uk/events/indian-soldiers-in-ww1-nicola-benge/

This event is part of Shoreham Wordfest

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The Unremembered project

We’re pleased to have been commissioned to become a hub in Brighton and Hove by the Big Ideas Company to develop activities with local community groups to explore the history of the Labour Corps – service personnel during World War I, and often forgotten in this part of history.

The Unremembered project background:

This project is about the Labour Corps – Service Personnel in the British Army who have essentially been pretty forgotten and aren’t really commemorated anywhere. The aim is to raise the profile of the Labour Corps and share this learning with community groups.

Who were the Labour Corps?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: Collection of John Sheen author of histories of the Northumberland Fusiliers and Durham Light Infantry.

 The Labour Corps supplied the army with weapons and ammunition, food and fodder, water and fuel. They built and maintained roads and railways. They were essential to the war effort.

British and Allied Forces struggled to cope with the demand for manpower after the huge losses of men during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. From January 1917, manpower was drawn from the UK, China, India, South Africa, Egypt, Canada, the Caribbean and many other places within the British Empire.

Tens of thousands travelled thousands of miles to defend freedom and although they rarely saw service in the frontline, many died or were seriously injured. Today their contributions and sacrifice are all but forgotten. They are The Unremembered.

 Events:

Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage will deliver workshops in October and November 2018 in Brighton and Hove with ten different groups in ten different venues across Brighton and Hove to look at the theme of The Unremembered and to commemorate the Labour Corps service personnel and their experiences.

We will do this through engaging with freelancers and volunteers to deliver a series of history and resource led activities which focus on the art of making articulated paper puppets (a common past time a centenary ago) with community groups and families.

These puppets will be a mixture of pre-printed on cardboard outline templates which can then be designed, created and compiled by participants and for those with dexterity issues or the very young, pre-designed printed templates which can be assembled with support and displayed.  We will use fabric scraps, wrapping paper and wall paper to create overlaid uniforms for these puppets and to bring them to life.

We will also create activities to create dressing paper dolls, so creating the one dimensional paper dolls through templates which are cut out and then one dimensional clothing made relevant to our theme which can then be folded over the puppet body. These dolls were popular during WWI and were still printed then despite paper shortages.

Both these forms of puppet making are ideal for classroom and community projects because they are made with everyday craft supplies and reused materials.

The puppet theme for this project is two-fold – one that it is an engaging and accessible way to teach young people and community groups who are unaware of this lost period of history about the Labour Corps, and secondly that the puppets can be seen as a metaphor for the role of the Labour Corps in terms of having no control over their work or location, that they were moved around like mules and essentially treated as such too. This will be a way to valorise those men and celebrate their role.

This will help to remember some of the soldiers who served with the Labour Corps and their link with Sussex and draw this forgotten history into the light.

 

 

 

 

 

AfrikaBa festival – tomorrow!

 

 

Strike a Light are delighted to be partnering with AfriKàBa, the Hastings based festival of African and Caribbean heritage, arts and culture.

AfrikaBa takes place tomorrow – 29th September at Stade Hall, Hastings TN34 3DW from 2 – 9pm.

All events FREE!

Afternoon from 2 – 6pm

  • FREE family activities Stade Hall and Classroom on the Coast
  • Musical and singing workshops
  • Storytelling for families
  • Demonstration and tasting of authentic East African cooking at the flagship facility Classroom on the Coast.

Evening 7 -9pm – AfriKaBa at Stade Saturdays 
FREE concert Musa Mboob & Xam Xam
Gambian master percussionist Musa Mboob comes to the Stade Hastings bringing an electrifying fusion of traditional West African rhythms with modern electronic guitars. Come and share in the vibrant music from the smiling coast of Africa. (special guest appearance by Vocal Explosion and Dende)

FREE!

The Stade has level access and disabled toilets.

 

 

 

 

Strike a Light and free AfrikaBa events this month!

Hastings based festival of African and Caribbean heritage, arts and culture. AfriKàBa is an annual festival that showcases high quality work from artists with African and Caribbean heritage and engages audiences with unique and enriching experiences.

We’ve got funding to provide free activities that positively promote African Caribbean culture, crafts and food. These will take place on 29th September at Stade Hall, Hastings from 2 – 9pm.

Get updates on the activities here!

At the Stade, Hastings –
Saturday September 29th  2pm – 5.30pm
  • African Caribbean family activities for the public, all ages and backgrounds.
  • Drumming and singing workshops
  • Storytelling for families
  • Demonstration and tasting of East African  cooking at the flagship facility Classroom on the Coast.

Stade Hall

Musa Mboob is at the Stade Open Space, Hastings – September 29th.

FREE concert starting at 7pm. 

Gambian master percussionist and lead vocalist Musa Mboob brings audiences an electrifying blend of Afro Manding fusion and tantalizing traditional West African rhythms stem from the deep roots of vibrant life and cultures of the smiling coast of Africa.

Blending and fusing the traditional instruments with modern electronic guitars to meet the demand of the 21st century diaspora, Musa has earned himself a reputation of a true entertainer and a master of the art through his creativity and innovative approach to the new style of West African Music. Come and share in the vibrant music from the smiling coast of Africa.

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AfrikaBa cinema!

All screenings at Electric Palace Cinema, Hastings Old Town – October 5th and 6th.

5th October:
Betty – They Say I’m Different 
The story of Funk Queen with Q&A with the film’s director. 8pm £7/8
6th October:
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  • Black Panther film screening – Noon (12pm).                                            All tickets only £5! With a 12A rating this is for young people and the young at heart.

 

 

 

 

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  • STASH a HKB FiNN film + performance by HKBFiNN + Q&A
    Film Duration 1hr 48 mins
    Event starts 7.30pm

    HKB FiNN will do a live set followed by a screening of his new film Stash.

STASH is a film about a group of degenerates who live outside of society. The film centres on Stephanie having difficulties with love, life, her sanity & her safety. The film portrays the complexity of women in powerful positions, recognising that strength and power can also come wrapped in soft coating and vulnerability.

The performance will be with HKBFinn a spoken word artist with a difference. His work explores the connections between cultures. His music is a unique combination of Jazz, Hip Hop & World Music. FiNN blends this mixture with Poetry on a range of topics from love to spiritual upliftment creating a unique soundscape that is fresh and somehow familiar.

An engaging performer, HKB FiNN has collaborated with a number of musical luminaries including:- The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Nojazz, Roots Manuva, Soweto Kinch, Orphy Robinson, Nitin Sahwney, Kasse Mady Diabate, Tunde Jegede, The Royal Opera House, Robert Mitchell’s Panacea and many more. HKB FiNN is a cultural ambassador from the UK who has performed in over 25 countries.

Background to our project

AfriKàBa started October 2010 in Hastings. It was conceptualised and delivered by Gwyneth Wint, supported by funding from Arts Council England, Hastings Borough Council and other strategic partners.

AfriKàBa works with schools, colleges, academies and libraries to give children and young people the opportunity to experience the rich diversity of Africa and learn of her universal legacy.

AfriKàBa also programs an exciting, annual program for Black History Month, a time to challenge clichéd ideas, re-contextualise history, and regain perspective on the rich and diverse continent that is Africa, showing her strengths and contributions seen in culture, creativity, in resources, minerals, scientific discovery and the legacy in her children across the world.

We’ve been lucky to receive funding from the Chalk Cliff Trust to deliver these activities and for this many thanks!

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history, and regain perspective on the rich and diverse continent that is Africa, showing her strengths and contributions seen in culture, creativity, in resources, minerals, scientific discovery and the legacy in her children across the world.

We’ve been lucky to receive funding from the Chalk Cliff Trust to deliver these activities and for this many thanks!

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Affordable Room Hire 

Did you know that you can hire our central Brighton studio for meetings, events and training at an affordable price!

“Compact but well-equipped, this space is just right for small meetings. There is also a variety places to eat downstairs in the market.” Sussex Cohousing

Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage has affordable space available to rent in its’ Brighton’s Open Market based studio (mezzanine level) between 9-6pm weekdays and weekends throughout the year.

If you’d like central Brighton space to try out a new workshop activity, run training sessions, access hot desk space space, or to run a regular creative session for up to ten people each time (that’s our limit due to room size), then get in touch!

The space is available for the affordable price of £7 per hour (min three hours per session).

‘We loved it!’ Brighton Housing Trust

The studio offers broadband, a disability access lift, WC, heating, tables and chairs, flip chart holder, as well as a kitchen area with microwave, sink with running hot and cold water, and kettle, cups and teapots etc for your own refreshments. Refreshments can also be provided for you as an extra cost, as can flip chart paper.

If you would like to find out more about this facility or view the space, please contact the Creative Director of Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage: strikealight@rocketmail.com / 07727006538

https://strikealight.org/about-2/affordable-room-hire-for-workshops-and-meetings/

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