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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bradford Intercultured Festival is back next month after successful digital fest last year

Intercultured is back with both live and digital events following the success of its digital-only series last year.

Intercultured Festival created by Bradford Artist Mussarat Rahman is back this year.

After an incredible response last year to the series of inter-community talks, Intercultured is back with even more in store for 2021. A full festival programme is now live with a whole 10 days of arts, culture, workshops and conversations planned, with something for everyone and the best part is that it is all free.

The festival is in collaboration with BIASAN (Bradford Immigration and Asylum Seekers Support and Advice Network).

Ms Rahman said: “Last year we piloted the festival as we felt the communities needed a voice during the pandemic, this year we want to show the rich diversity of heritage, culture and communities in which we live, work and share our lives. All our events are community-led by local artists, settled communities and organisations.

“Bradford has a rich history of migration and sanctuary and we wanted to capitalise on this history and celebrate how it has influenced our Bradford community, changed peoples lives and how much people love Bradford’s diversity.”

Join Syrian cook Falak Desouki and learn how to make Syrian sweet treats.

The inspiration for the festival comes from her passion for working within communities. She said: “The time I have spent within the refugee/sanctuary seeker community over the last 12 years has opened up my world both individually and artistically.

“Through working with BIASAN I saw a myriad of artists, poets and musicians sideline their passions for live art. I saw possibilities and opportunities to highlight and champion creative talent within these communities: with poems, songs, dance, creative arts and speakers telling a different story to the bleak narrative of a war-torn asylum seeker and refugee.

The Kala Sangam building will be used for some of the events planned. Image: Rob Ford.

The festival takes place at venues across the city and some events will be online. Kala Sangam Arts Centre will be hosting a world-class music concert from headline act Rafiki Jazz on Saturday 23 October. This group of star musicians and singers from Africa, India, the Middle East, South America and Europe are led by inspirational Sufi soul singer Sarah Yaseen, for an evening of divine, absorbing and borderless music.

On 28 October I’m Muslamic Don’t Panik an autobiographical show by Bobak Champion, Bristolian, Iranian and hip-hop head can also be seen at Kala Sangam, part live music, part dance, part spoken word with a healthy dose of clowning.

Throughout the festival, an exhibition of work created by local Bradfordians, titled ‘Humanising’ will run from the 20 October which will be available from all venues in booklet form. The work will showcase powerful artwork created by refugees, asylum seekers, members of the Deaf Women’s Society, LGBTQI and youth communities, the exhibition highlights the positive contributions to society such diverse groups have and continue to make.

Join Franck Zalo at an African dance workshop on 28 October.

There are dance classes throughout the festival to get your body moving (no matter your age) in belly dancing, breakdancing, African and world fusion dance from top dance professionals including Balbir Singh Dance Company.

Four cooking workshops are on offer, with the chance to learn dishes from across the world including Syrian sweets, Iraqi and Caribbean traditional dishes. Arabic calligraphy classes are also on offer with complete beginners welcome at all the creative workshops. Digital skills, poetry and film making all on offer between 20 and 30 October.

For anyone with children, the Bradford Family Fun Day from 12pm – 5pm on Friday 29 October is not to be missed, or if you are closer to Keighley, this year you can join in at the Airedale shopping centre on Saturday 30 October, 12-4pm with a whole host of creative workshops suitable for all the family to take part in.

There is a local poetry night with poet Siobhan Mac Mahon on 27 October showcasing local talent and an evening of transnational poetry online on 30 October with a stellar international lineup for ‘Found in Translation’ a unique chance to hear inspirational poets from across the globe.

Inspirational and informative talks are dotted throughout the programme, taking place both in-person and online. The lineup includes a Young Peoples Panel, Palestinian activist live steam and information for sanctuary seeking communities including the legal process for those seeking sanctuary and how best to access health care services.

Drop-ins are available at some events, but places are limited, so booking tickets is advised. Full information can be found here and tickets can be booked online here.

Intercultured Festival is supported and funded by Arts Council England, The Bradford Bid, The Leap, Platforma, Bradford City Council, Bradford Refugee Forum, Spin Arts and venues Common Space (Common Wealth Theatre), Kala Sangam Arts Centre and Bradford Deaf Community Association.

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