Pran Kouraz (take courage), 2019
ABOUT THE WORK
Shiraz Bayjoo’s commission explores notions of migration and displacement through a short 16mm film made with students from Mission Grove primary school, Walthamstow. Bayjoo asked the children to consider their rights as young people alongside their own experiences of courage and overcoming adversity. Together they interrogated the myriad experiences of trans-migratory groups today, bringing together their understandings of displacement, loss and courage and voicing the importance of personal agency in the world they will inherit.
Bayjoo places these against his own experience of flight and resistance from Mauritius, once known as the Maroon republic. The story of the enslaved Maroon becomes a wider metaphor for journeys of escape, overcoming and the transformation of self.
The commission includes sculptural costumes inspired and worn by the children and a performance devised in collaboration with Mauritian dramaturg David Furlong.
Read Shiraz Bayjoo’s poem here: Pran Kouraz, by Shiraz Bayjoo [PDF]
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Shiraz Bayjoo’s practice explores the social, political and historical conditions integral to Mauritian and the wider Indian Ocean region’s cultural identity. His practice considers the formation of collective identity and nationhood through the entangled legacies of European colonialism and their relationships to slavery and migration.
ABOUT THE VENUE:
The Empire Cinema is a busy local cinema that occupies a central site, at the top of Walthamstow Market.
Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts) is an evolving, radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation. With the Stuart Hall Library acting as a critical and creative hub for our work, they offer residencies, commission new work and promote existing practices enabling artistic ambition and development.
ABOUT ARTSOCIAL FOUNDATION
The workshops are supported by ArtSocial Foundation who are a fundraising and grant-making charity that is on a mission to use arts to improve the lives of disadvantaged, vulnerable children and young people in the UK and Russia.