Wandsworth Theatre showcases season of oral history and immersive performance

To celebrate 50 years since the birth of Bangladesh, a Wandsworth Theatre is putting on a season of oral history, virtual reality and immersive performance.

Abdul Shayek, Artistic Director of Tara Theatre has announced Bangladesh 50 – a season of work celebrating half a century of independence.

The season will have two world premiere productions and seven new pieces of work that explore unheard voices, share diaspora testimonies and celebrate the intertwined histories of British Bangladeshi communities.

Mr Shayek has said his intention behind the season is to both to celebrate five decades of independence and to preserve these stories for the future before it is too late.

He said: “Until fairly recently I knew very little about the birth of Bangladesh.

These projects are a culmination of my discoveries and education of the land of my birth.

“There is an urgency and need to tell and preserve these stories as we are losing the people who helped to create Bangladesh.

“At the very moment of celebrating its creation, Bangladesh is a nation under threat. In the next 30 years it is projected that Bangladesh will lose up to 11 per cent of its land, displacing millions.

“These projects are not only a celebration of 50 years, but also a stark reminder that our actions now will determine whether we are able preserve Bangladesh’s rich cultural history, and the very land on which it was created, a place which is strongly linked to Britain’s past, present and future.”

The season opens with the world premiere of DAWAAT, a pop-up birthday feast across London for the eyes, ears and the taste buds, that will ask what it means to be of Bangladeshi heritage in the UK today.

It looks at what the 50th anniversary means to the diaspora and its political, human and emotional impact.

Dawaat will be driven by the sharing of food, poetry, live music, spoken word and movement and audiences will have the option to sit at the communal dining table on stage or within the auditorium.

In Spring 2021 Tara Theatre will present AMMA, in which Bangladeshi women’s experiences will take centre stage.

The extensively researched and thought-provoking production allows audiences to experience first hand what it was like to experience the war and in turn leave for the UK in the 1970s and 80s to build a new life in a new place.

The company has also launched a major new international collaboration – ARTISTS MAKE SPACE – pairing seven Bangladesh based artists with seven UK based artists to co-create new exploratory works to be showcased in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, and London.

Working with Britto Arts Trust and commissioned by the British Council, Tara Theatre will present the final work from the collaboration in Bangladesh and the UK as well as online.

An open call for ARTISTS MAKE SPACE will begin this November.

 


 

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