On Thursday 21st February, we had the pleasure of participating in St Agnes’ CE first Mushaira Event! Miss Buckley and Ms Lynton were bowled over by the children’s confidence as they performed their poetry in front of the huge audience,who had tickets to attend the event at Longsight Library!
This year’s ‘Manchester’s Multi-Language Mushaira’ was linked with Manchester Library Service, Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Manchester and the Whitworth Art Gallery and followed the theme of food. We were very excited when Emma Martin, resident artist at Stanley Grove Primary School, asked us to join the project this year and could not wait for our Creative Crew to take part in the six workshops!
A Mushaira is a poetry performance in South-East Asian languages. They are traditionally lively and interactive, including the audience participation when they celebrate the poetry they love by shouting ‘Wah, Wah’ to the Poet they love! On the night there were four professional poets and two professional artists who joined us. As well as the Creative Crew Children from Rushbrook Primary, Stanley Grove Primary and Longsight Primary who had written poetry about their favourite foods and food culture, in whichever language they chose.
The night began with our children being taken to the ‘Green Room’ to wait to perform. They were then presented with their performance t-shirts, which they then decorated with a variety of languages, all linked to ‘eat, drink, care and share’. The Creative Crew were then given Manchester’s famous delicacy a chip butty! Which was one of the titles of the first poem shared by Anjum Malik, Poet. We had already met Anjum, as she was our professional mentor who prepared us for our performance a week ago. Her training was awesome and you could see the confidence it had given the children as they walked up to the stage!
There are over 200 languages spoken in Manchester, so this was a diverse poetry project, which was a part of UNESCO’s International Mother Language Day. Ir was great to see one of our children in the Poetry Pods. when Longsight Library opened its doors at 2pm yesterday.The professional poets will then performed some of the poems shared in the pods. along with their own work to the audience sitting on giant picnic rugs(which all children at St Agnes had stitched some lips for), under a ‘poetry sky’ (which all St Agnes EYFS chilren had played a part in decorating) at Longsight Library!
Basir Sultan Kazmi was the last Poet to perform. He had lived in Longsight for many years and shared his love for the area and the community! He started his performance with:
“A theme of today is sharing, interacting, adjusting. One of Britain’s greatest strengths is that it is ‘MULTICULTURAL’ 2oo languages are spoken in Manchester- I am in AWE. I do not need to travel! The world has will come to me!” Expressing how special it is to live in our culturally rich and diverse city!
As a Peace Mala School we totally agree and know this is what makes us a unique and extremely special city, with so many faiths and cultures living side by side!
What a way to celebrate the written word!
Time to rehearse with Miss Buckley!