We went off to the launch yesterday at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton of the Dr Blightyproject Educational Learning Toolkit we created for the London based organisation Nutkhut in 2016 and 2017. We were pleased to see this newly finished learning toolkit which is available for Brighton and Hove schools (Key stages 2 & 3) to learn more about the history of Indian Soldiers in the city during WWI.
Strike a Light has just finished the schools and activity delivery of the Dr Blightyproject for Nutkhut after a hectic six weeks in Brighton and Hove! Last we we rounded things up with a trip to the Royal Pavilion with curator Kevin Bacon who gave the Brighton and Hove Home Education Group pupils a talk about Indian Soldiers in the city during World War I. Following this, we ran a day of creative activities along the theme of Dr Blighty at Jubilee Library which was a drop in for families and children. We hung up saris, played Diwali and Bollywood music and had help from two artists who worked with participants to create Rangoli mandalas, Indian posters and Kandil lanterns. We had 75 children in sessions, so it was a hectic but lovely day. We are now concentrating on creating a Key Stage 2 and 3 Education Pack about the theme and which once it’s completed in January 2017, will then go out to all city schools for use in the future and promote the BME history of WWI in the city. You can see some of the event images below.
We’ve been having a lovely time this month with local artists going in to schools across Brighton and Hove to deliver a variety of themed arts workshops with children and young people as part of the wider Dr Blighty project. We’ve created seven different themes to engage young people in the city linking to Indian soldiers in Brighton in WWI, including making Diwali shadow puppets, creating memorials, offering Kandil lanterns and finding out more about the men who came here through a series of centenary biographies. Find out more about the project as a whole through the organisation Nutkhut who’ve contracted us to deliver these sessions.
Free workshops and activities run by professional artists include:
* Make colourful Kandil lanterns – 11am – 4.30pm
* Design and create an Indian themed poster – 1.30 – 4.30pm
* Listen to Indian music
Part of the celebrated Dr Blighty project – Find out more about Indian soldiers at the Pavilion in WWI; make a poster, or Kandil lanterns, try Indian themed crafts, find out more about Brighton & Hove’s local memories & more.
Activities free and suitable for children ages 5 and upwards
Our Brighton and Hove based organisation Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage is pleased to be delivering these activities on behalf of the company Nukhut as part of the celebrated Dr Blighty project exploring Indian soldiers in Brighton during WWI.
Join Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage in the market square at Brighton’s Open Market – Free Half Term Diwali Celebrations this October (part of Nutkhut’s Dr Blightyproject). Drop in activities, no need to book! 10am-4pm Friday 28th October Come along and join in the Diwali festival of light celebration fun over Brighton and Hove half term week with free workshops – artists, food, Kathak and Bollywood dance and more. Diwali is a Hindu festival with lights, held in the period from October to November. It is particularly associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the financial year in India.
Free workshops and activities run by professional artists include: * Make colourful Kandil lanterns * Make clay diya lights * Create Diwali character puppets * Listen to Indian music * Watch a Bollywood Dance display:11.30pm, 12.30pm and 2pm * Join a Indian Kathak dance workshop at 10.45am and 3.15pm with Eve Zandi * Watch a Kathak dance performance 2.30pm
Organised by Nicola Benge of Strike a Light, Jo Palache from Brighton Museum came to give a talk to to Conversation Cafe group (part of The Boys on the Plaque) project about Indian Soldiers in Brighton in World War I, and to share learning on this topic for the Dr Blighty project. This project from Nutkhut, part of this year’s Brighton Festival, was an HLF funded series of activities commemorating the contribution of Indian Soldiers in the Great War as well as the Brighton connection to this part of the Commonwealth. Thanks to Jo Palache for coming to speak to the group.
Strike a Light in partnership with Nutkhut and Brighton and Hove Libraries Service hosted a lunchtime event today at Jubilee Library. We were pleased to invite Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra of Nutkhut and author Umi Sinha to discuss the Dr Blighty project currently taking place in the city during Brighton Festival, alongside the novel Belonging, both of which explore the theme of Indian Soldiers in Brighton during WWI and colonialism during that time and beyond. It was an interesting and rich experience with in-depth historical information and thoughts on this period of Britain and India’s past. We had a full house, followed up the event with an audience Q+A and followed this with chai from the library cafe and a book signing!
Come join us this Thursday for a free lunchtime heritage and literary event for the Dr BlightyIndian Soldiers project, part of Brighton Festival. This is a lunchtime event. Feel free to bring your own lunch, and Temptations cafe in the library will also be open for lunches and refreshments. They will serve a specially made Indian Chai drink to accompany the event. Thursday 12th May 12-1.30pm, Jubilee Library, Jubilee Square, Brighton
Dr Blighty Brighton Festival lunchtime event (Free) –
The event includes:
* A talk with Artistic Director of Nutkhut, Ajay Chhabra who discusses Dr Blighty, an ambitious new project inspired by an untold story of the First World War, remembering an unexpected episode in Brighton’s history when the Royal Pavilion Estate became a military hospital for wounded Indian soldiers. * Author of new novel Belonging, Umi Sinha will read from her book chronicling the darkest days of the British Raj to the aftermath of the First World War. The story is a compelling and finely wrought epic of love and loss, of race and ethnicity, of homeland – and of belonging. * Q&A session with event audience and speakers * This will be followed by an author book signing – copies of her new book will be available at the event, or bring your own copy. All welcome! With thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support. (with thanks to Brighton and Hove Libraries and Information Service for their support)
CONVERSATION CAFES Our free WWI reminiscence CONVERSATION CAFÉS continue this month, taking place on the second Wednesday of every month. THIS MONTH: This month’s session is on Wednesday 11th May at Jubilee Library, Brighton from 2.30-4.30pm. Free and all welcome!
Jo Palache from Brighton Museum will be our speaker at next month’s Conversation Cafe. She will talk about piecing together the stories of the Pavilion Military Hospital from it’s beginnings treating Indian Soldiers to its work with British amputees. She will give an overview of the hospital’s history from the Indian to the Limbless hospital for those who aren’t familiar with it, and will then focus on some stories of the individuals involved, in reference to the new Pavilion Blues exhibition at Brighton Museum.
We’ll be discussing a novel by local author Umi Sinha called Belonging: From the darkest days of the British Raj through to the aftermath of the First World War, BELONGING tells the interwoven story of three generations and their struggles to understand and free themselves from a troubled history steeped in colonial violence. It is a novel of secrets that unwind through Lila’s story, through her grandmother’s letters home from India and the diaries kept by her father, Henry, as he puzzles over the enigma of his birth and his stormy marriage to the mysterious Rebecca.’
Strike a Light is engaging with community groups across the city to promote the project, research this period of history and gather information, meeting with key WWI projects including Gateways to the First World War and East Sussex in WWI. We are setting up free creative and heritage activities with groups such as the Black and Minority Ethnic Elders, alongside Indian themed activities with artist Jane Lyster, setting up public talks with Co-Artistic Director Ajay Chhabra of Nutkhut, and attend Dhavinder Dhillon’s plaque unveiling, which honours Subedar Mir Dast, a Indian soldier who received the Victoria Cross, at the Indian Gate by the Royal Pavilion. Events are being planned currently, so do follow our blog for further updates. Dr Blighty outreach workshop dates with Strike a Light – Brighton and Hove
Brighton and Hove Hindu Women’s Group – Wednesday 20thApril (2pm)
Memories Past Group – Tuesday 3rd May (2pm)
BME Elders session – Thursday 5th May 12pm.
Metamorphosis Art Group – Friday 6th May (2- 3pm)
Gujurati Cultural Group – Tuesday 10th May (8.30pm).
Brighton and Hove U3A session (with Jo Palache of Brighton Museum) – Wednesday 11th May (2.30pm). Venue: Jubilee Library, Jubilee Street, Brighton, open to all
Diya making Artists workshops
Brighton and Hove Hindu Women’s Group – Wednesday 27th April (2pm).
Jewish Care dementia session – Thursday 5th May (3-5pm).
BME Elders session – Thursday 12th May (12pm).
Brighton and Hove U3A session – Thursday 12th May (3pm).
Metamorphosis Art Group – Friday 13th May (2-4pm), Mezzanine bar, The Dome
Going to see Culture Together (from Fabrica gallery) – Tuesday 24th May (11-1pm)
To find out more, and how to participate at sessions free of charge, please contact Strike a Light by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07727 006538
Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage is a community interest company. We focus on exploring life stories and history through creative projects. Based in Brighton, Strike a Light works with and for the wider community across Sussex