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Contact Young Company and Young Identity speak out for public culture in Manchester collaboration

Contact Young Company and Young Identity are joining forces in Manchester to offer a modern and unique perspective on what public culture means.

Between June 12 to 16, Manchester Art Gallery will play host to this exciting new collaboration between young people from Contact Young Company and acclaimed spoken word collective, Young Identity, sharing ideas on what a postcolonial future looks like through their promenade performance and alternative gallery tour.

Directed by dramaturg Tunde Adefioye, from KVS – the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels, and Ruby-Ann Patterson, this bold and energetic production fuses art and theatre to create a platform for asking vital questions about our collections, our buildings and culture. Who owns it? Who decides what it should be called? Who is allowed to take up space? And who is it really for?

Following the young people’s exploration of the city’s cultural landmarks, spaces, galleries and statues, performers from Young Identity and from Contact’s dynamic Young Company have cultivated their responses and reactions into this brand new devised theatrical piece – working closely with Manchester Art Gallery and its permanent collection to open up wider questions and conversations about the role of art in the 21st Century and beyond.

At each performance, the company will take different audience groups on their own tailor made and alternative gallery tour to question, celebrate, shed a spotlight on and ultimately question what is our collective histories; what stories do we tell ourselves and can we use a more intersectional, decolonized approach to telling these stories…

Young Identity and Contact Young Company are about giving a vital voice and a platform to the next generation of artists, actors, performers, writers and poets.

Bringing together their talents, their ideas and their creativity into this progressive, cultural venue will allow a new conversation to be started and a new future to be visualised … Maybe it looks like Beyonce in the Louvre or a Black Panther movie outtake?

“Galleries tell us about who we used to be, who we are and our future,” says director Tunde Adefioye.

“Importantly they define the stories we tell ourselves about our collective identity, it’s really important that we critique these places and the people in power.

“We need to question the narrative being told because it will define the stories we tell about ourselves going forward.”

Old Tools > New Masters ≠ New Futures, presented by Contact Young Company and Young Identity runs at Manchester Art Gallery from Weds 12 June to Sun 16 June. NO performances on Sat 15.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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