The Threepenny Festival Association, with Collective Encounters Theatre For Social Change (CE), held a one day solidarity event with the London Mining Network and Colombia Solidarity Campaign, in support of the visit by indigenous campaigners and their allies from Colombia, Chile and Brazil, to the UK. This is the third year of an ongoing creative partnership between us. The visitors were joined by local people, members of CE, academics and campaigners.
The programme of the day took the form of the visitors speaking about the specific issues that faced them. This was followed by working in small groups, allowing for exchanges of experience and ideas. There was plenty of time allowed for social interaction over food. The whole day was documented on video, and we took the opportunity to conduct in-depth interviews with each of the visitors. Each group created a short performance based on their exchanges, these used drama and music to look at issues such as communicating the experiences of indigenous people in a globalised media environment, the differing attitudes towards land in Latin America and the UK, and food sovereignty. Here’s an example of what was created (we will post some video soon):
“La agricultura campesina
Puede enfriar el planeta
No necesitamos sacar
Litio ni cobre
Con semillas libres
Se arregla el clima
Y sanamos el planeta*
Free the food from the factory, bring it home
Come together and share, grow your own
No need for hunger, no need for greed
Share all together, rejoice and let’s feed”
Small scale agriculture
Can cool the planet
We don’t need to extract
Lithium and copper
With free seeds
The climate is repaired
And we heal the planet
The day created a great sense of solidarity between the different people involved and provided a great forum for sharing. The performances though of necessity of ‘scratch’ quality were uplifting. The video archive will be useful as a long term resource. It has strengthened the relationships between the visitors and all the partners involved, and the use of creativity in particular brings a different dimension to the visit. Hopefully the links created will continue into 2020 and our involvement in the COP 26 ‘climate summit’ in Glasgow.
The day finished off with a ‘guided tour’ of Liverpool, with several of the visitors wanting to visit the Cavern Quarter, and a shared meal.