According to our good old friend Wikipedia, Black History Month is “an annual observance originating in the United States”. It “began as a way of remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora“.
This year, we decided to see it as an opportunity to celebrate Diverse City’s connections with People of Colour and aspiration to develop these further. We spoke to Rebecca Solomon, who performed in Splash! this year. She told us about her experience working with Extraordinary Bodies, our partnership with Cirque Bijou. She also shared her thoughts on Black History Month.
“My work with Extraordinary Bodies has been one of the most insightful journeys. I recently spent a lot of time exploring my own identity as part of Roundhouse’s production Hive City Legacy. It was also incredible to look into others’ identities with Splash!. Working with disabled and non-disabled people inspired me to think of ways of making my own work more accessible.”
Photo © Reel Monkey Productions
“Black History Month can sometimes feel a little tokenistic. It’s as if you’re allowed to speak about Black history in October only. And usually about slavery only, as opposed to Black British history. The ideal situation would be to have Black history integrated with all other histories, so that it wouldn’t feel so othered.”
So what are our plans to develop relationships with BAME communities further? This year, we continued to work closely with Associate Artists David Ellington and Milton Lopes and shared a call out for BAME Producers. As a result, Selma Nicholls joined our team as a freelance Producer for Mid Life. We are also looking into getting involved with Black Tickets Project, a brilliant initiative helping young Black people access theatre through tickets donations.