In this post Katja Frimberger shares secret project plans to take over Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) through arts-workshops and multilingualism. And all in the name of humanities research and the Being Human Festival in particular.
On 15th July I was sent to London to learn how to do public engagement.
The background: The Arts and Humanities Research Council is throwing a party this coming November. Well, more than a party. It’s a week-long celebration, called the Being Human Festival that showcases humanities research in an engaging and accessible way to the public. The festival sheds light upon the stuff humanities researchers do and how it relates to the interests and concerns of the public.
I tell you, it will be exciting! Just to give you a taster of events I overheard from other research projects: there was talk of wiring up opera audiences to measure their emotional responses to Wagner’s Ring Cycle; Victorian science lectures in costumes (including top hat), digital chicken shows for fancy breed keeper as well as colour-coordinated food tasting sessions wearing nose-clips. As you can gather, this is just a teaser. In order to find out more about the type of events that take place all over the country during the festival, keep an eye out for the emerging programme!
Our contribution to the Festival here in Glasgow will be a big, loud Language Fest in the Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts. I will let you in on some ideas. We will offer participatory arts-workshops: music, poetry & drama to find out what languages mean to people. It will be an opportunity to praise & rant about old language experiences as well as create new ones on the day. Everybody with an interest in talking about the joys, woes & anxieties of learning a language, speaking many languages or none at all is invited to join the discussion. But more than just a verbal exchange, we will use the rhythms of drums, the imagery of our bodies and the echoes of poetry to create a colourful and multi-sensory picture of what learning, speaking, living with and listening to known or new languages means to our lives. There will be a performance at the end of the day- on a real stage.
I can’t wait to get into the nitty-gritty of the planning. The public engagement coach in London said it’s important to nail the purpose of your event and be clear about the audience you envisage. This post is my initial attempt to pin this down for our language fest.
PURPOSE: Give a voice to people’s language experiences through music, drama, poetry.
AUDIENCE: Everybody who wants to share, rant, show off their languages & everybody who wants to engage in an arts workshop with a show at the end.
If you feel like ranting now, sharing (or showing off) your ideas and expectations for such language fest, please do drop me an email. It would be great to get your input!