THE STORY SO FAR

If It’s Wrong, Change It

A variety night of local talent, politics and fun, 21st September 2018
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Photo Credit: Sam King                                   Banner: Clare Marsh

On the 21st of September 250 people came to Creating Change Colchester’s Variety Night of local talent and politics ‘If It’s Wrong Change It’.  The night was a medley of speakers, performances, poets and bands – and it attracted a large diverse audience. There was a brilliant story from Clare Marsh about her journey to the ‘If It’s Wrong, Change It’ slogan from which the event got its name. Her amazing banners decorated Colchester Art Centre on the night. This was followed by a fantastic thought-provoking talk from Hasina on why she wears the hijab and a powerful and moving address from Solma Ahmed on anti-Islamophobia and anti-racism. Then we heard a poem entitled ‘If It’s Wrong, Change It’ by Mike Harwood and witnessed a death-defying nail stunt from the Great Antonio. The night then turned up the volume with sets from Lo-Fi Lighthouse Jam, punk Battle of Bands winners Feedback, Grunge Punk band Tundra and an explosive live performance of fractured anthems from headliners Pet Needs. Whilst this was all going on the perimeters of the Arts Centre were filled with stalls from local campaigns and groups: Refugee Action, Beacon House, Unite, Vent Your Rent and Speaking Outside the Box. In the foyer guests were welcomed by Creating Change Colchester to start the political conversation of the night. Guests were encouraged to interact with a board asking ‘what’s wrong?’ and ‘how should we change it?’ and hungry audience members, campaigners, activists, gig goers and families ate delicious food from the Falafel & More food van outside. The great turnout raised £400 split between Beacon House and Refugee Action. The night was a rip roaring success, the air full of energy and hope and a real credit to, and celebration of, the local community here in Colchester and the surrounding areas.

Speaking Outside the Box: Coltopia 

In colaboration with Young Arts Kommunity (YAK) group at Firstsite

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In July of this year, Creating Change got together with the Young Art Kommunity (YAK) at Firstsite to launch our Speaking Outside the Box initiative for 15-25 year-olds. At our launch event, we asked the question ‘What creative project, event or campaign could we devise to make our community a better, fairer place?’

 

Banner Making

Completed in time for the May Day celebrations this year (2018), members of Creating Change produced an innovative banner made up of individual patchworks representing our values of social justice, equality and fairness. Each ‘patchwork maker’ was given an A4 sized price of fabric and asked to represent their ideas in images and/or words, using a variety of media, including recycled materials where possible. The result was a stunning banner which has had many outings since its completion, including at the May Day celebrations in Wivenhoe, Brightlingsea Regatta, the ‘Big Sunday’ event in Colchester and the very successful Creating Change event, ‘If it’s Wrong, Change It’ at Colchester Arts Centre in  September. And, what has made the banner project all the more remarkable is that many of us had never done anything like this before, with the result that this was a genuinely inclusive project in which anyone  could participate – and together produce an amazing statement of our shared values and hopes for positive social and political change.

For further information about the banner, or if you would like to participate in a similar project, please contact sally.p.wilcox@btinternet.com

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Film Screening, Pride

Event in colaboration with Essex University Labour Society 

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Film Screening,  Sink

Event in colaboration with Essex University Labour Society 

Launch: Fighting Back

ANC politician, Denis Goldberg, fought apartheid with Nelson Mandela and, like him, spent many years in jail as a result.  In a recent Guardian interview, Goldberg, now 84, explained why he has devoted his later years to building a centre for the arts:

“People matter.  I feel the whole point of being in politics is about people.  For me it’s not about power.”

For Creating Change, these words struck a deep chord, helping us to see that the connecting term between art, politics and grass-roots campaigning is quite simply  ‘people’. Read more…