The Mushaira Performance 2020 at Longsight Library was definitely a night to remember!

As a part of our Peace Mala and Rights and Respecting Work, we joined the Manchester Writing School (Manchester Metropolitan University) and Emma Martin (Stanley Grove Primary School, Resident Artist) as they hosted the second Multi-language Mushaira, on Friday 21st February, at Longsight Library. St Agnes’ Creative Crew were very excited to be a part of this fabulous event, as we had thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity last year.

St Agnes’ families attended the library in the daytime, to work alongside a resident #McrMushaira poet to help create and read some amazing ‘home’ poetry. So a huge thank you to all of the families and children who joined in this exciting afternoon of crafts and poetry at Longsight Library.  This was to be the final event for our Creative Crew, before their performance later that evening and what an event this was!

The evening provided a huge finale of celebrations from children across the cluster schools, who performed on stage as a part of Manchester’s celebrations of International Mother Language Day. Events had taken place across the city throughout the day, from Central Library, Wythenshawe Library and North Manchester Library, as we came together to celebrate the many spoken languages across the city through poetry workshops and arts and crafts. Bi-lingual poets Nasima Begum, Basir Sultan Kazmi, Steph Lonsdale and Bohdan Pisecki were based in Manchester Libraries from 2-4pm in the afternoon, and then joined our young Creative Crew poets from four local schools in the evening, to share poetry that celebrates the many languages spoken in our city.

Our children in the St Agnes’ Creative Crew have been participating in activities for many weeks now, which included poetry classes with Nasayba Begum, sewing sessions and window art work at Longsight Library with Emma Martin; all through a variety of workshops, to prepare us for our multilingual mushaira performance on Mother Language Day. The rest of the school were also involved as Years 1 -5 stitched a home for the performance cushions and wrote poetry about what made their home special to decorate the performance area.

The evening was a feast of poetry and performances with local Muslim poets of Pakistani and Bengali heritage as well as a Polish and Salford poet, all of whom recited their poems in their native tongues and in English. This was followed by a Mushaira performance by the children,  lively poetry recitals, including our very own Mushaira Creative Crew from St Agnes. Have a look at the images below of this spectacular event!

Our Charity focus this year was Shelter. We cannot wait to hear how much we have collected for this wonderful charity!

Rehearsals first, the children had the chance to perform with their peers and a small audience to prepare them for the show that evening.

Then, the children were given t-shirts to design for the performance. These were decorated with ‘Welcome to my home’ in the various languages that are spoken across the city.

Finally, a prep talk from Poet Nasima Begum. She told the children to project their voices, make eye contact with the audience and speak from their diaphragms.

The children participated in voice exercises and were certainly ready to perform and feeling confident, as they then tucked into their ‘chip butties’, a traditional Mancunian dish of comfort!

 

The Performance Room was filled with the children’s home poetry, including the work of our children across our school. The cushions for our audience had been stitched by refugee women from the Bangladesh Community, earlier in the week.  The small felt homes stitch by children from Stanley Grove Academy,  St Agnes’ CE Primary, Rushbrook Primary and Longsight Community Primary looked absolutely fantastic, we are sure you will agree!

It was 7pm and time to perform- The children stole the show completely! You could see the professional poets were blown away by their wonderful work and confidence!

The Creative Crew 2020 take the stage for their final bow as a group of performers!

To end the Mushaira, a beautiful performance from the Choir. Who performed in over 15 languages, showing the diversity of our wonderful city.

 

The Manchester Multi-Language Mushaira happens over a series of weeks for the children in the Creative Crew at St Agnes’:
24th Jan- Whitworth Art Gallery Workshop – based on finding their parents/grandparents homes across the world
                 -Stanley Grove Primary Academy (pm) to build giant cardboard homes of many languages spoken in Manchester- welcome is the message for all.
31st Jan – Longsight Library – Sewing Workshop stitching homes for those who lost their right to speak in their mother tongue in Bangladesh (am)
                                                     – Performance Workshop (pm)
14th Feb –  Longsight Library – Performance Workshop (am)
                                                     – Poetry Workshop (pm)
21st Feb – Mushaira day/night  -Poetry Crafts and Art work (am)
                                                         – Children performing (7pm)
For the rest of St Agnes Children in Year 1- 5:
The teachers explained about the project and the theme for the Mushaira was ‘Home’ to all of the children. The felt and materials were brought in by Emma’s team and we started to stitch our homes. These were varied homes from flats, bungalows and houses to show the diversity of homes in Manchester and Longsight.
Many classes also completed a home poetry task- written with focus of what Longsight, Manchester or homes further a field mean to them. These were then hung around the performance stage area.
Whitworth Art Gallery
24th Jan- Whitworth Art Gallery Workshop – Finding our parents/grandparents homes across the world, looking at different home experiences they may have and sharing the light that home brings with colour torches and discussing feelings evoked.
Stanley Grove Primary and Longsight Library
-Designing and constructing giant cardboard homes of many languages spoken in Manchester- welcome is the message for all
31st Jan – Longsight Library – Sewing Workshop, stitching homes for those who historically lost their right to speak in their mother tongue in Bangladesh
Performance Classes Longsight Library 

The Big Draw 

We also were involved Big Draw aspect of the Mushaira, ‘Window’s into Our Homes’. The children were taught to mirror write their work, so that people who pass our school and Longsight Library can read their wonderful poetry about their homes. The Creative Crew did this perfectly, you can read their work on the staircase window on the Slade Grove side of school or the Community Room window at Longsight Library.

 

We cannot wait to see the film and images made of the event by Manchester Met University. Until then have a look at the film below which shows you the wonderful work of the children who participated last year!

 

See if you can spot our children from last years Mushaira Event on the video below:

 

2 Comments

  • feaza Posted 25th February 2020 8:14 pm

    I went to the Longsight Library on Friday, I did see the big paper on the floor, it was so wonderful.

    • Ms Lynton Posted 26th February 2020 8:51 pm

      That is fantastic news, Feaza. I hope you had a go at writing some wonderful ‘home’ poetry whilst you were there.

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