Making Space for Inclusive Arts is a dedicated series of blogs and interviews aiming to give a platform to creatives from underrepresented or marginalised backgrounds (such as BPOC and queer people) taking part in the Totnes Festival. We would like to amplify the voices and stories of those from marginalised communities and also challenge conventional stereotypes of who does art in Devon.
As part of the series we are highlighting some of the amazing artists from diverse backgrounds taking part in the festival. However, more than just representation, we are making space for events and voices that we feel are disrupting stereotypes and shifting perspectives.
Read on below to find out more about these events and the artists:
Thursday August 18th @ 6-8.30pm
Somatic is dual-heritage Indian-English Sound Artist born and raised in Exeter. Sonic Landscapes of Colour is a Sound Art Documentary that tells the story of young (18-26) People of Colour (POC) who have grown up in the South West (Somerset, Devon & Cornwall).
Tuesday August 16th @ 7-10pm
Patrice Naiambana is an African Performing Artist from Sierra Leone based in Devon. This African Diaspora solo Performance with digital narrative explores the psychological pressures facing the African immigrant-storyteller.
Henry Everett is a queer storyteller, writer, and artist based on Dartmoor. For the festival he has curated the storytelling programme at Birdwood House with South Devon Storytellers. He will also be leading two different storytelling events: Mischief, Mayhem and Magic: Tales of the Dartmoor Pixies and Pan, the Wild God.
Saturday August 20th @ 8pm-1am
Film and Q&A session at the Totnes Cinema
Sunday 21st August @ 3-5pm
Internationally renowned DJ, musician and film director Don Letts will be bringing the history & legacy of Jamaican music to the Barrel House and the Totnes Cinema in two different events.
Monday August 18th
Alongside a fantastic line-up, Shumba Arts will be bringing the sounds and rhythms of West Africa and Zimbabwe to the opening ceremony.
We will also be joined by Tommy Khosla and band. Tommy Khosla is a Sitar player, producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist from Devon. Coming from a mixed family background, Tommy is particularly interested in integrating the Sitar in the contemporary soundscape
Friday August 19th @ 7-11pm
St Mary’s Church
Totnes Festival welcomes acclaimed Palestinian singer, composer and instrumentalist Rasha Nahas to St Mary’s Church. Rasha’s critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Desert’, chronicled her journey from Haifa to Berlin and back again. Rasha’s first foray into Arabic language works explores themes of home, belonging, spirituality, freedom and her relationship with her mother-tongue.
Monday August 22nd @ 2-5pm
Theo Clinkard is a queer dancer, designer, teacher and cheorgrapher based in Ashburton, Devon. He will be leading a contemporary dance workshop based on his recent duet creation ‘The Days’. Theo’s workshop will initially explore how we can bring greater attention to our perceptive experience of ourselves in motion, those we move with and the space we inhabit.
Thursday August 18th @ 2-3pm
St Mary’s Church
Join the Dartington Music Summer School Gospel Choir, led by members of the leading a cappella female group, Black Voices. An exultant celebration of singing in the Black Oral Tradition, the bedrock of black gospel music.
Friday August 19th @ 3-4pm
St Mary’s Church
Join participants from the Dartington Music Summer School & Festival Free Improvisation course for an exploratory, experimental performance with formidable composer and saxophonist, Jason Yarde and dynamic drummer, Mark Sanders.