Tuesday, 23 July 2013

HELEN McCOOKERYBOOK: Performing Prejudice Symposium at Newcastle University

I attended a charming symposium yesterday at the University of Newcastle on subjects around the idea of performing prejudice. It was an emotional trip in some ways as McDad used to teach at the University of Newcastle and I walked past a lot of parts of the University that were familiar for that reason, including the bit with a restaurant that we used to go to for a treat.

O the joys of dried-up breaded haddock, pebbly peas and cold stringy chips, followed by a scoop of melting vanilla ice cream in one of those aluminium ice cream bowls that have not withstood the retro twists of time!

But back to the symposium: I can honestly say that there was not a bad paper among them. We heard about Celtic and Rangers and the Catholic and Protestant songs and chants; the difference between the words 'diversity' and 'integration'; Alan Turing and a play about his life, exposing the hypocrisy of the British Government of the time; Fascist music in the UK, focused on the band Skrewdriver; the use of signing by Deaf people to create music; hidden messages in performance and performers at odds with their physical bodies; the Drake Music Project in Ireland and its creative rather than therapeutic approach to music making with differently-abled people; Northumbrian authenticity in songwriting and music and sometimes, inauthentic authenticity.

Read on...

Take One
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Poetry and Rhymes
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