The UK/Australia Season is a major new cultural exchange celebrating the diverse and innovative artist communities and cultural sectors of each nation. A collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Season is a vibrant programme spanning theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, architecture, music, literature, higher education and a public engagement programme.
Designed to strengthen and build cultural connections, the Season theme is “Who Are We Now?” and will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season launched in both countries in September 2021.
Birmingham 2022 Festival and Fierce presents Healing Gardens of Bab
Fierce will transform a number of locations in Birmingham city centre with unique installations, art and events for everybody. Sydney-based arts collective Club Até presents In Muva We Trust and Club Muva as part of the Healing Gardens of Bab.
Club Até presents In Muva We Trust
Tuesday 5 July 2022 – Sunday 10 July 2022
Chamberlain Square, Birmingham, UK
Birmingham’s Chamberlain Square will be transformed by a colossal projected artwork inspired by Filipino folklore narratives. Audiences are invited to encounter a large-scale installation, immersing themselves in the mythical Skyworld – a place of possibility and potential – experiencing how we can live in harmony with our environment. In Muva We Trust provides an opportunity for hopeful reflection at a moment in time where, collectively, we feel vulnerable and overwhelmed by both our recent compulsory social disconnect and the deepening climate crisis.
Club Até presents Club Muva
Saturday 9 July 2022, 10.00pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, UK
Accompanying the projected artwork will be Club Muva, a community-led, inclusive and intergenerational extravaganza of vibrant pageantry. Club Muva reminds us that as we move, journey and arrive in this world, we remain connected simultaneously to our origin and our new community, with both experiences forging an integral part of our ever-evolving identity.
Club Muva is designed to be a large-scale, evening-long, intergenerational and inclusive event. Club Muva showcases a diverse program of performances from featured artists together with various members of the Queer, Asia-Pacifica, Indigenous, dance and artistic communities. The celebratory and inclusive essence of the night culminates in an audience- led dance party, where anyone and everyone can take centre stage in the dance circle.
To create Club Muva, Club Até invite performers, artist-activists, cultural collectives and other creatives from the local community to participate in a creative collaboration. The objective of this community engagement is to find cultural and artistic meeting points, empowering and celebrating voices of diversity.
Presented as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22, a major programme of cultural exchange taking place across the two nations. Supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Australian Government RISE Fund and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Club Até is an art collective based on the unceded lands of Sydney, led by interdisciplinary performance artists Justin Shoulder aka Phasmahammer and Bhenji Ra.
They frequently collaborate with associate artists: Matthew Stegh, set and costume designer; Tristan Jalleh, digital video artist and music video director; and Corin Ileto, composer and electronic music producer, as well as their LGBQTIA+ artistic community.
Concerned with the dissection of cultural theory and identity, Club Até centralise their own personal histories and the narratives within their community, as tools to reframe performance. Their practice transverses sculpture; video; media; performance; and club events, with an emphasis on community nurture and activation.
The work of Club Até is informed by the artists’ shared Filipino / Australian ancestry and the collective is invested in creating their own Future Folklore. They actively seek out collaborations with members of the queer Asia Pacific diaspora in Australia and the Philippines with the objective of finding collaborative meeting points, to celebrate voices of diversity.
Club Até have been invited and commissioned to perform and exhibit their works across Australia and internationally, in a diverse range of spaces and settings including festivals, independent and institutional galleries, theatres, nightclubs and outdoor environments. Their work has been presented at the Sydney Biennale Nirin 2020; Enlighten Festival 2020, National Gallery of Australia; Asialink Residency hosted by Green Papaya Arts, Philippines 2018; Balik Bayan, Blacktown Arts Centre, 2017; AsiaTOPA 2017 ACMI; M+ Museum in Hong Kong, Fault-lines: Disparate and Desperate Intimacies, ICA Singapore, 2016; 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane, 2015-16, Sydney MCA and Art Gallery of NSW.
Fierce is Birmingham’s cultivator of artists, audiences and contexts for new performance – placing marginalised / outsider / alternative voices centre stage. They produce the internationally acclaimed Fierce Festival – a youthful and joy-filled festival of international theatre, performance and experiences which takes place in and around Birmingham (UK) every two years – as well as exciting and unique creative projects year round. For over 25 years, Fierce has been promoting Birmingham and the region across the world as a vibrant, diverse and tolerant place where the incredible happens in unusual places, the outlandish is embraced and celebrated and the new is welcomed with curiosity and kindness. As they look to the future, they will continue to provide that relevant, fresh and feisty voice for the city.