All posts in “Key Projects”

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UPCOMING SHOW! ‘DECAIDS’ – Her Royal HIVness Celebrates Us All. August 2016

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Concept

The art and theatricality of HIV / AIDS activism captured the imagination during the 1980’s first crisis. 30 years later and HIV / AIDS still rages across the world. One of the little-known root causes of the global HIV pandemic is due to homophobic legislation introduced by the British Empire during the height of colonialism. In the 76 countries where it is homosexuality is still illegal, HIV transmissions are still on the rise as the stigma is compounded, further allowing, pharmaceutical companies which profit from the pandemic see our latest event ‘In the name of David Kato’.

‘DecAIDS’ is a theatre show for people living with HIV / HEP to share the realities of life, love and struggle, to celebrate the journey the lives of those living with HIV / AIDS and to highlight root causes of the pandemic. So often, people living with HIV and other conditions, are stigmatised in our society; treated as passive recipients of resources, or silenced and invisibilized altogether.

So in typical ACT UP LONDON style, full of cabaret, mischief and flair we aim to create all the materials for a highly creative, potentially disruptive, very meaningful action in august. The creative team exists to frame Decaids in a way for maximum cheekiness / reaction and to connect, agitate and empower diaspora LGBT / HIV groups living in the UK to animate in an accessible and inspiring way the relationship between the HIV pandemic, global homophobia and the role of the British Empire.

Decaids is a 2 part process – (1) Subversive royal HIV celebration march towards Buckingham Palace and (2) A Theatre show in a central London location.

Draft Promotional Text – DECAIDS – Her Royal HIVness Celebrates Us All.

‘One would be delighted to join one for DECAIDS in August 2016. DECAIDS will be hosted in the divine London Royal Palace Lavatory where aperitif’s of pheasant and poppers will be served. DECAIDS is a celebration of the Royal and the Common Folk living with HIV. It serves to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Her Royal HIVness (me) diagnosis’. Please do join one to celebrate that hot stud ten years ago who royally fucked me without a condom, without whom, I may never have met ordinary fine folk like oneselves. I know that in my time on the throne I have been doing bugger-all to acknowledge the global HIV pandemic that my beloved British Empire got off the ground – but now I have seen that my crown has been too tight. I will share my crown jewels for all as I am ever so pleased to announce that I will add to my royal duties the celebration of those living with HIV. Similarly, just as I write to anyone when they reach their 100th birthday I will write to those ones who have lived with HIV for 1 week, 1 year, 10 years, 20 years or indeed any significant anniversary and then welcome them ones to this royal occasion and celebrate them – one and one all.

Please, let’s all wave ones royal fists in the air and celebrate those living with HIV. Gosh! It will be spiffing!’

All Her Royal HIVness’ proceeds shall go to ACT UP LONDON (Aids Coalition To Unleash Power) and all those fighting those god-awful terrible Pharmaceutical companies.’

Related Work

DecAIDS’ is developed in the tradition of the successful ACT UP performance shows ‘Shafted?’ And ‘HIV Blind Date’ –

SHAFTED?! Teaser Video 

Shafted?! The Show – Behind the Scenes – A Celebration of ACT UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power)

HIV Blind Date 1 at ‘The Glory’ 

“I see “Shafted” the show as a stepping stone to breaking down barriers of stigma, and have everyone accepted as one.” Billy, Shafted?! storyteller and performer “On behalf of ACT UP New York’s alumni, we’re thrilled to see the UK acting-up again. Shafted?! reminds us of our gloriously ribald and creative roots, so keep up the fight, comrades. Until there’s a cure, ACT UP!” Peter Staley, legendary AIDS and gay rights activist.

ACT UP LONDON 2016 Newsletter 

Ladybeard Magazine HIV Blind Date 

Creative Team

We have a range of leading artists, theatre-makers and activists involved in ACT UP LONDON and beyond who will be developing the show. We will also be working with a wide range of London’s leading HIV service providers to develop and produce the show.

About ACT UP LONDON (www.actuplondon.wordpress.com)

ACT UP London is a diverse, non-partisan group of individuals united in anger and committed to action to end the HIV pandemic. We are part of the global ACT UP network – see the film trailer ‘United in Anger’. ACT UP London combats this through creative campaigns – we recently led the ‘Beyond UKIP Cabaret’ including ‘HIV anti- stigma’ classes at the front of UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s pub, held a series ‘HIV Blind Date’ events, in which contestants – three people living with HIV and/or Hep C – answered questions relating to their vision for the future and organised ‘AIDStravaganza’ – welcoming in new artists’ work to animate the issues at hand. Cuts to services, rising transmission levels and the mistaken belief that HIV was resolved in the 1980s have led people to name this era – the ‘HIV Second Silence’. All details at www.actuplondon.wordpress.com and @ actuplondonfighttilltheend@gmail.com ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS!


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The Glass Is Half Full – Performance and Protest for 2016 – Get Involved.

The Glass Is Half Full – Performance and Protest for 2016 – Get Involved.

The Glass Half Full’s social change programmes are provocative, politically charged and take pleasure in overcoming injustice through performance, popular education, movement building and a celebration of diversity.

Empowering social change needs to address both the root cause of the issue and be led by those affected by it. Rising inequality and ongoing oppressions like xenophobia, HIV-phobia and racism demands ordinary people like us to penetrate repetitive cycles of political violence.

2015 highlights included trainings and programmes which supported LGBTQI communities to challenge gentrification, presenting HIV, HIV / HEP C Blind Date  led by people with HIV+ to tell their own story, the Holocaust-memorial activism influenced ‘Beyond UKIP Cabaret’ cabaret in Nigel Farage’s boozer and the ‘R.I.P. Pride Funeral’ which chased human-rights abusing corporations and UKIP off Pride. A wealth of trainings and talks including at the amazing ‘Visthar – Gender, Diversity and Social Transformation’ and building for Paris COP21’s ‘Climate Games’ were a treat to be part of. 

2016 exciting collaborations include so far a series of trainings with the amazing Beautiful Trouble creative activism training programme here in the UK, a continuation of the ‘Counterculture happy hours’ in Central London as well as many more performance art protests including ‘Shafted? – the HIV cabaret’ aswell as LGBTQI events galore such as ‘The Queer witch of the East will never die’ – a Chariots Spell’. The Glass Is half Full growing list of resources for anyone wanting to create positive change as well as the press list are growing daily.

Please do get in touch if you would like shows, talks, press, trainings or strategic mentoring for your community justice programme on any of the following (more detail here)

1. ‘Rehearsing for the Revolution’ Performance as Protest
2. Press Training
3. Strategic Planning
4. Civil Disobedience
5. Popular Education
6. Community Self – Defence
7. Community Transformation and Empowerment
8. Organising across cultures for social justice
9. Creative Facilitation
10. Organising legal trials for social change
11. HIV Activism
12. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) Activism

Contact dan at www.theglassishalffull.co.uk / alright@theglassishalffull.co.uk / Twitter #danglassisfull

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Shafted?! are looking for storytellers living with HIV to have the time of their lives!

Looking for storytellers living with HIV to have the time of their lives! 

Shafted?! are looking for 2 people to share their story of living with HIV for the first major time in public. 

“Shafted?! – a gutsy, mischievous but truly activist cabaret about Aids.” Mary Brennan, Dance Critic, Herald Scotland.  

SHAFTED?! COMING OUT

Are you positive and ready to come out, in a supported way?

Are you open about your status, but want to come out wider?

Would you like a support team of councillors, people who have been through this “coming out” process themselves, peer support, and a cast of friends. 

If you are not open at all yet, we would be humbled to work with such an important and transformative process. 

The new Shafted?! shows are a provocative, flamboyant, glamorous, rowdy, insightful, moving, surprising and musical response to HIV. The planned shows will are in London and Wales in 2015.

Please email shafted@theglassishalffull.co.uk by June 10th 2015 to register your interest and we shall send you the application details. All details at www.theglassishalffull.co.uk

What is Shafted?! 

SHAFTED?! is an unashamedly deviant HIV cabaret and activism movement to stop the HIV ‘Second Silence’ (1) and in tribute to the activism of ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)’. The show combines dance, performance, live music, stunts and spoken word to tell true life stories of people living with and affected by the virus. It is part of a wider body of activism combining workshops, mentoring schemes and direct actions UK-wide, in response to austerity cuts and the silence around the epidemic.

Shafted?! has headlined festivals at The Arches (2013) in Glasgow and Pride Scotia (2014) and are coming to London and Wales in 2015. We are organising a mash up of brilliantly in-your-face cabaret activism, documentary verité, and multi-camera studio material to make the most deliciously enjoyable political statements to build properly supported HIV care across the world.

Whilst in many places HIV is now thankfully a more manageable condition – in 2015, infections in the UK are rising, stigma still exists and prevention services are inadequately supported – and even cut – in many parts of Europe. Not to mention other part of the world where HIV is still a death sentence. 

What would I as a storyteller do? 

Do you think this should be challenged? Do you want the global HIV / AIDS crisis to end once and for all? Would you like to share your story of living with HIV as part of the show?  In 2015 – Shafted?! will hold 2 events – one in London, one in Wales – participants would be required for a week in both of these periods to share their story on stage and to camera. The audiences for the shows are the general public (both those new to the issues of HIV and those with lots of knowledge), the media and politicians. 

The show combines dance, performance, live music, stunts and spoken word to tell true life stories of people living with and affected by the virus. It is part of a wider body of activism combining workshops, mentoring schemes and direct actions UK-wide, in response to austerity cuts and the silence around the epidemic. The current HIV epidemic and the growing cuts to HIV education and prevention services right across the UK are a big concern and the show will launch a series of protests against the government to challenge them. The show is in tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Aids coalition to unleash power (ACT UP) movement (2)

Shafted?! joins with other leading advocacy groups, including HIV Scotland, National AIDS Trust and Student Stop AIDS in opposing these measures.  Government figures show that a shocking 44 per cent of people with HIV who have completed a “Work Capability Assessment” have had their support cut off, and charities warn that it is causing destitution . HIV Scotland’s recent report (3) states “we are very concerned that the impact of the Welfare Reform Act 2012 will have major implications and negative health effects for people living with Blood Borne Virus(BBV). 83% of interviewee’s stated the welfare reform bill would have a negative impact on their lives. 13% stated they didn’t know what the impact would be, and 4% said there would be no change.”

Timeline

APRIL 2015  We would initially meet you in June, at a place of your choosing (London, or at your home, or a local cafe) to get to understand you and your story, and so you can get to know what Shafted?! has done so far.  Between now and July, maybe monthly, we will meet and communicate. The show will be made up of your favourite songs, acts and the story as you want it told. By September 2105, there will be some more meetings, with all the groups involved, so start to plan roles. 

OCTOBER 2015 will require 2 weeks of fairly constant attention (though of course, we will work around your family / life commitments to the maximum). Show at end of October!! We will probably aim to do 3 shows, 3 nights in the row – so as to reach the maximum number of people. 

All costs will be covered – Nobody will be out of pocket. 

No professional actors are used. The cast will be made of people affected by living with HIV. We will work together to make the show we desire.

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“I see “Shafted” the show as a stepping stone to breaking down barriers of stigma, and have everyone accepted as one.” Billy, Shafted?! storyteller and performer 2014.

“On behalf of ACT UP New York’s alumni, we’re thrilled to see the UK acting-up again. Shafted?! reminds us of our gloriously ribald and creative roots, so keep up the fight, comrades. Until there’s a cure, ACT UP!” Peter Staley, legendary AIDS and gay rights activist. 

“As the show builds to a crescendo we feel the release of disclosure, celebration and sheer rebellion – (in the spirit of ‘Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP)) the fight for social justice as well as the fight of the individual for recognition and acceptance.” Scotsgay Theatre Edition, June, 2014

Further Links

1. Living with HIV just got harder- benefits system, budget cuts, HIV and unemployment – http://www.newstatesman.com/rowenna-davis/2012/12/living-hiv-just-got-harder.

2. AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is an international direct action advocacy group working to impact the lives of people with AIDS (PWAs) and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives.

3. Report – ‘ PEOPLE LIVING WITH HEPATITIS C AND HIV – THEIR VIEWS ON WELFARE REFORM ‘ Www.hivscotland.com

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Never Again Ever!

“Memorialisation without action is part of the problem! – We say “Never Again Ever!”

‘Never Again Ever!’ exists to pass on the legacy of survivors to activists today. Throughout 2015, we will call upon artists, activists, performers, storytellers and more to get involved in a year-long programme of performances, trainings, and political actions. These events will culminate in a Holocaust Survivors Cabaret aimed at constructively building a future where far right politics are no longer possible. www.neveragainever.org @neveragaineverever@gmail.com

So far we have organised the Launch event here and behind the scenes video here, the disability rights demonstration on Holocaust Memorial Day and the ‘Homocaust’ cabaret at the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern in late February to mark the anniversary of when the Nazi Party launched its purge of homosexual (gay, lesbian, and bisexual; then known as “homophile”) clubs in Berlin, outlawed sex publications, and banned gay groups – and to celebrate LGBTQI activism today. This led on to the the widely-publicised ‘Beyond UKIP Cabaret’ to challenge the rise of the far-right in Britain today – read more here Farage fracas: my day with the anti-Ukip cabaret he called ‘scum’.

​Who we are – ‘Never Again – Ever!’ is one of two central programmes within ‘The Glass Is Half Full’ organisation. Founded in 2012. The Glass Is Half Full purpose is to build a world of peace, collaboration and justice through media, protest, performance-based rituals and education. The Glass Is Half Full is a not-for-profit unincorporated association.

The ‘Never Again Ever!’ team have been working very hard but never expected there to be such a huge response from both a wide range of communities whom we support, allied organisations aswell as the press. We now need £5,000 to help carry out the events for the coming year.

Please donate generously – simply email neveragaineverever@gmail.com with your donation details and we shall send you the bank details.

Never Again Ever!’ exists to bring communities together to pass on the legacy of survivors to activists today. This will be achieved through performances, trainings, and political actions which will culminate in a co-produced Holocaust Survivors Cabaret aimed at constructively building a future where far right politics are no longer possible.

2015 marks the 70th Anniversary of the Nazi camps liberation, and much of the discourse has focused on the holocaust as a purely historical event, one so huge and inexplicable that it overshadows all subsequent injustices. We want to open a new discussion. Throughout 2015 we will facilitate a series of creative activism trainings to empower people to take action, and equip them with all the logistical skills required to think and act critically The aim is to facilitate the participants to challenge prejudice and racism in their lifetimes and in particular confront our government’s existing social welfare, immigration and weapons policy that is in contradiction to the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights created in response to the Nazi Holocaust. Topics in the curriculum will include – press training, building a campaign, popular education, legal rights, ‘how to’ organise an effective protest, strategic nonviolence, political theatre and much more.

We are building a team of holocaust survivors, their descendants and allies – to train and inspire the new generation with stories of resistance and survival – working alongside people to create a video series on how their experience has influenced their social justice activism. The culmination of this programme will be the Holocaust Survivors Cabaret bringing together groups who suffer and have suffered oppression, using diverse performance media to explore how people transform the experience of oppression into social justice activism and advocacy. This will include a ‘handing over’ ceremony from holocaust survivors to the rest of the participants and audience; a powerful and symbolic passing on of the memories and the commitment to social justice that they inspire. This will cement the connections made between groups over the year to encourage and motivate ongoing collaboration and activism. We believe memorialisation without action is part of the problem. We also include all grandchildren at the bottom of the ‘Holocaust hierarchy’ i.e. African, Gypsy and LGBTQI and disability rights communities – people whose experience is often excluded. We are committed to ensuring that we reach those who are often excluded and marginalised including migrants, those with ill health, the elderly, children and others.

Testimonials from our recent events

“Had fab time at The Homocaust – 70th anniversary ‘Never Again Ever!’ launch of cabaret. Great, awe inspiring speakers and wonderful queer cabaret! I got to sit next to Peter Tatchell (I refrained from gushing) and… I met David Lewis; one of the original (and continuing) members of #LGSM!! (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners; the inspiration for the film #Pride) Thought provoking and inspiring afternoon!” Leon Fleming

“The purple sparkling table cloths and twinkling lights were immediately welcoming and the confetti guns was a brilliant idea – symbolising the turning of destructive weapons into something joyful and celebratory.” Ruth Barnett

Well done all you organisers for a fabulous stylish and beautifully organised event that did what it set out to do. Inform inspire and mobilise. Xx” Sarah Jewell

“Brilliant event, Many thanks to all who produced it” Sandy Marks

Just to say what a success i thought it was! Well done!” Merilyn Moos

Supporting Organisations

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Training for Transformation Palestine

Training for Transformation (TFT) Palestine is six month long human rights activism empowerment programme facilitated by some of the world’s leading popular education facilitators to build strength in overcoming the illegal Israeli occupation. TFT Palestine are collabroating with some of the leading social justice movements in Palestine such as ‘The Centre for Freedom and Justice‘, ‘The Popular Struggle Coordination Committee‘ and ‘The Freedom Theatre’ in Jenin.  We are currently training activists, educators and organising fundraising programmes across the world to make this programme a reality. We are looking for people to be involved in the organising team, in a small or large way – including volunteers for networking, press, communication, facilitation and much more. Please register your interest by emailing palestinetft@gmail.com.

Participants will learn with the world renowned Training for Transformation (TfT) movement born out of Steve Biko’s ‘Black Consciousness Movement’ and incredible fearless community activists from across Africa. The programme is delivered within an ‘action-reflection’ cycle whereby between the two phases the participant, with support from facilitators, carry out they skills they have learnt in the training to empower their communities and, in the second phase, deepen their skills by reflecting on what was good, and what could be better next time. The research phase is after the second two weeks, where for two months, participants carry out a long term project in their communities to raise critical consciousness and action for strategic change.

Training for Transformation (TfT) is based on a number of approaches to change. The core of this work is the development of critical consciousness and creativity. It was developed from Paulo Freire’s radically different approach to adult education which helped people “to read their reality and write their own history”, and motivates them to action that transforms their life situation. The uniqueness of Freire’s approach challenges the traditional educational mould. The implementation of this theory is very practical with well trained teams analysing the macro and micro realities of each area, finding generative themes and developing programmes that aim to develop critical consciousness and action. TfT has nourished the belly of movements for justice all over the world. Anne Hope (co-founder of TfT along with the magnificent Sally Timmel) was a student with popular education founding father Paulo Friere and was approached by the late great Steve Biko to develop a programme in the context of anti-Apartheid. Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement was a pivotal force lifeforce in tearing down the evils of Apartheid and since then, TfT has inspired activists and communities all over the world. To mention just a few – the Centre for Human Ecology, Abahlali – the South African Shackdwellers Movement, Centre for Youth Resources Foundation Network (CRYfoNe), Mamelani, the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST).

CURRENT PROGRAMME – The ‘Palestinian Dabkeh Flashmob on Operation Protective Edge Flashmob’ will take place across the UK on July 18th 2015 in support of the ‘Boycott Divestment and Sanctions’ campaign. We intend to confront Israeli-Apartheid business as usual armed only with shopping trolleys incredible dance moves.

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 08.09.19Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 08.09.28 The number of civilians killed during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge offensive has raised international concern and condemnation. Between 8 July and 27 August, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians in Israel. The UN says the vast majority of Palestinian deaths are civilian and many called the attack a genocide. 

We are looking for 100 people per city to come to the creative day of activism training which includes the Dabkeh Dance rehearsal who can then spread the word and encourage others to join in. The Palestinian dabkeh was traditionally used to scare away evil forces and protect the security and growth of seedlings.

A list of key places selling Israeli goods will be shared shortly along with a press and legal brief. 
Trainings – Venues tbc. 
 
Manchester – 28th June 2- 5pm 
London – 12th July 2- 5pm 
Glasgow 19th – June – 10-1 
To reserve your space and / or get involved in the organising crew please email – palestinetft@gmail.com. For all press enquiries please email palestinetft@gmail.com

Also during the day of inspiration we will have a panel and workshops led by people who have created highly transformative, imaginative, effective and attention-grabbing protests to challenge the occupation.
This is also in support of the amazing Freedom Theatre’s ‘The Siege’ show coming to the UK. We welcome everyone who goes to see the show as well as everyone in the UK who is interested in developing skills to overcome the Israeli oppression and apartheid.The days are organised by a coalition of movements in support of a free Palestine. It is led by Training for Transformation Palestine in collaboration with many groups part of Friends of the Freedom Theatre UK. Training for Transformation (TFT) Palestine is human rights activism empowerment programme facilitated by some of the world’s leading popular education facilitators to build strength in overcoming the illegal Israeli occupation –www.tftpalestine.org