As part of Black History Month in 2014 and 2015 Half Moon profiled two performances for teenage and young adult audiences – FREE (2014) and Map of Me (2015-2016) – offering a complementary day of free creative activities for young people around the performances on Saturdays. The days explored: issues of forced migration and violence against women and girls; and the migration of unaccompanied minors. Both days of events were supported by the Tower Hamlets Events Fund. Working within the framework of Black History Month offered a platform on which to profile the work made by Half Moon which speaks to a broad and diverse audience and celebrates the stories which need to be told by and for communities which often feel under represented in the arts, or marginalised in wider society.
Exploring some of the issues from Map of Me relating to being an unaccompanied minor arriving in the UK.
Scriptwriting workshop for young people – led by playwright and director Filiz Ozcan
Panel Discussion: Arriving in the UK as an unaccompanied minor
Unaccompanied minors arriving in the UK: exploring the facts, overturning stereotypes and understanding work with young refugees. Panel to include theatre professionals and experts on the situation of unaccompanied minors. The panel included Rushanara Ali MP, Bethan Lant from Tower Hamlets New Residents and Refugee Forum, Emily Churchill Zaraa from Counterpoints Arts, Temor Alkaisi from the Paper Project, Leesa Gazi from Komola Collective and Rosemary Harris from Papertale). There was also a change to see an extract from the acclaimed film Leave to Remain.
Spoken word workshop for young people
A workshop with spoken word artist Concise One, offering young people the opportunity to learn how to tell their own stories through the medium of spoken word.
One of the stories explored in David Lane’s FREE is that of a young girl forced to migrate following the threat of forced marriage. Using the play as a stimulus, along with two other creative projects in development at Half Moon which explore female migration and the experience of being a female refugee in the UK, the events explored some of the issues relating to violence against women and girls (VAWG) prevalent in young people’s lives.
Scriptwriting workshop – led by playwright David Lane
Forced migration of young women and girls: creating characters in Theatre for Young Audiences, overturning stereotypes, understanding approaches to combating violence against women and girls. Panel included professional theatre artists (Rachana Jadhav, Rosemary Harris, Azfa Awad and David Lane) and Lucy Allwright from the Tower Hamlets VAWG Team.
Spoken word workshop – led by award-winning spoken word artist, Azfa Awad
Monica Forty talks about how children have benefited from Half Moon’s diverse participatory work in the past and today, making reference to underlying racial tensions in Tower Hamlets in the 1990s. Interviewed by Caitlin Ralph.