17-10-17: GCRF Chirikure Chirikure visit to Ignite October 2017

Issued: Mon, 05 Feb 2018 16:13:00 GMT

As part of his visit with the University of Glasgow, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), renowned Zimbabwean poet Chirikure Chirikure was invited to deliver a creative writing and performance masterclass for Ignite Youth Theatre. Under our theme of Idioms of Distress, Resilience and Wellbeing, Chirikure used ‘love’ and ‘pain’ as his tools to help the young performers of Ignite to creatively think, write and perform short pieces of text. As well as performing his own poetry, Chirikure walked the group through some of his creative techniques, such as using concrete objects to describe intangible concepts such as pain and love. In one example, pain was likened to the smell of burnt toast!

The session was resoundingly embraced by Ignite who were on retreat and in development of their upcoming stage play ‘The History of Me’. Within the beautiful interior of Ardoch House, set against the magical backdrop of Loch Lomond, the half-day was full of languages, music, laughter, tears, greeting and goodbyes. Welcomed by artistic director Aileen Ritchie, Alison Phipps and Tawona Sithole from the University of Glasgow, accompanied Chirikure. The material created in the masterclass, will feed into the development process of the stage play, and relationships kindled here will hopefully fuel into more collaborations with the UNESCO Chair project of Refugee Integration through Languages and the arts.