Posts

, , ,

Manchester International Festival 2021 programme announced

Manchester International Festival (MIF), returns from 1-18 July with a vibrant programme of original new work from across the spectrum of visual and performing arts and music by artists from over 20 countries.

The reasonably amazing lineup includes Angélique Kidjo, Akram Khan, Arlo Parks, Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Boris Charmatz, Cerys Matthews, Christine Sun Kim, Cillian Murphy, Deborah Warner, Forensic Architecture, Ibrahim Mahama, Kemang Wa Lehulere, Laure Prouvost, Marta Minujín, Lemn Sissay and Patti Smith

  • Events will take place safely in indoor and outdoor locations across Greater Manchester, including the first ever work on the construction site of The Factory, the landmark cultural space that will be MIF’s future home
  • A rich online offer will provide a window into the Festival wherever audiences are, including livestreams and work created especially for the digital realm
  • With almost all the work created in the past year, MIF21 provides a unique snapshot of these unprecedented times. Artists have reflected on ideas such as love and human connections, the way we play, division and togetherness, equality and social change, and the relationship between the urban and the rural
  • For the first time, the curation of the Festival’s talks and discussions programme has been handed over to local people, building on MIF’s work involving the community as artistic collaborators and participants in work shaped by them
  • Festival Square returns in new location Cathedral Gardens with a packed programme of food, drink and free live music, DJs and more
  • As one of the first major public events in the city, MIF21 will play a key role in the safe reopening of the city’s economy and provide employment for hundreds of freelancers and artists
  • Much of the programme will be free to attend, with more work than ever in public spaces around the city

People sitting outside in the sunshine at tables in MIF's pop-up Festival Square in Manchester

Headshot of John McGrath

John McGrath, the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of MIF.

Manchester International Festival Artistic Director & Chief Executive, John McGrath says: “MIF has always been a Festival like no other – with almost all the work being created especially for us in the months and years leading up to each Festival edition.  But who would have guessed two years ago what a changed world the artists making work for our 2021 Festival would be working in?”

“I am thrilled to be revealing the projects that we will be presenting from 1-18 July this year – a truly international programme of work made in the heat of the past year and a vibrant response to our times. Created with safety and wellbeing at the heart of everything, it is flexible to ever-changing circumstances, and boldly explores both real and digital space.

“We hope MIF21 will provide a time and place to reflect on our world now, to celebrate the differing ways we can be together, and to emphasise, despite all that has happened, the importance of our creative connections – locally and globally.”

Hop along to the MIF official website from from Thurs 20 May 2021 if you’re interested

Manchester International Festival reveals first MIF21 Event

MIF 21

Manchester International Festival (MIF) announces its first event for the 2021 edition of the Festival (1-18 July 2021), with The Walk, the culmination of the extraordinary journey from Gaziantep in Turkey to Manchester of nine-year-old refugee girl, Little Amal in the form of a giant living artwork.

Working together with renowned theatre company Good Chance – creators of critically-acclaimed The Jungle – and world-famous creators of War HorseHandspring Puppet CompanyThe Walk will see Little Amal – a 3.5 metre tall puppet and an emblem of the millions of displaced refugee children separated from their families – travel 8,000km across Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and the UK in search of her mother. Embodying the urgent message ‘Don’t forget about us’ Little Amal will be welcomed by over 70 cities, towns and villages with art – from major street parades and city-wide performances of music, dance and theatre, to intimate community events, between April and July 2021.

The poignant finale moment on Sunday 4 July – forming a highlight of MIF21’s opening weekend – will be marked with a free large-scale outdoor event in the heart of Greater Manchester, a place that has long welcomed its diverse and dynamic population of refugee and migrant communities, and has the highest concentration of dispersed asylum seekers in the UK outside of London.

A programme of creative engagement activity in the lead up to, and across the Festival’s opening weekend with communities from across Greater Manchester will help to create Little Amal’s welcome.

The Walk will shine a light on the region and its people, as a home and refuge for those who need it. It will build on the legacy of MIF projects such as the Beating Wing OrchestraToGather (MIF17), The Welcoming Party (MIF17) and most recently School of Integration (MIF19) which saw over 100 people from over 50 countries take over Manchester Art Gallery to deliver unique classes, from food and customs, to ethics and politics.

John McGrath, Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Manchester International Festival said “We’re delighted to be a major partner on The Walk, our first event to be unveiled as we plan for MIF21, and to welcome Little Amal to Manchester for the conclusion of her extraordinary journey. At MIF, we have a proud history of creating large-scale participatory events that bring the city together. As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, a project like this feels more important than ever – encapsulating everything that the arts can do; crossing borders, starting important conversations, and bringing communities together.”

“We hope that families, communities, schools, friends and neighbours – everyone who calls Greater Manchester their home, will help us welcome Little Amal.”

Amir Nizar Zuabi, Artistic Director of The Walk stated “It is because the attention of the world is elsewhere right now that it is more important than ever to reignite the conversation about the refugee crisis and change the narrative around it. Yes, refugees need food and blankets, but they also need dignity and a voice. The purpose of The Walk is to highlight the potential of the refugee, not just their dire circumstances. Little Amal is 3.5 metres tall because we want her to inspire us to think big and to act bigger.”

At this time of unprecedented global change, The Walk is an extraordinary artistic response: a cultural odyssey transcending borders, politics and language, to tell a new story of shared humanity – and to ensure the world doesn’t forget the millions of displaced children, each with their own story, who are more vulnerable than ever during the global pandemic.