News: Border Crossings announces further events for thought-provoking ORIGINS Festival

Border Crossings has announced the next phase of the year-long ORIGINS Festival with a thought-provoking collection of streamed events from Indigenous creatives. Following on from their challenging literary series, ORIGINS WRITERS, that brought together renowned writers including US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, the company will continue to explore the major themes of Coronavirus, Climate Change and Colonialism through theatre and film.

Featured as part of the 2019 ORIGINS Festival at the Globe Theatre, Madeline Sayet’s acclaimed production Where We Belong returns with a re-worked digital adaptation. An intimate and exhilarating solo piece that highlights the internal racism embedded in the country’s makeup, Where We Belong charts Madeline’s journey to the UK to study Shakespeare. It is an eye-opening look at belonging in a fraught and not-so-United Kingdom. The production is produced by Woolly Mammoth in Washington DC.

Running alongside Sayet’s piece will be Hidden Histories, a film by Border Crossings that similarly follows an Indigenous traveller’s journey to London. Narrated by multi-award winning actor Mark Rylance, the film unearths the extraordinary tales of Pocahontas, Joseph Brant, Bennelong and Mai, drawing parallels to modern day in a timely assessment of our city and its relationship to the lands it once colonised.

Indigenous Australian documentary film Etched in Bone will also be streamed as part of the Festival’s programme. This sensitive documentary shows the theft and eventual return of human bones to Arnhem Land, highlighting the shameful trade of ancestral human remains deep rooted in colonialism.

ORIGINS Festival will also include three-short films by Mongolian and Mayan artists, in partnership with the Open University, looking at Animism (a spiritual belief in inanimate objects possessing souls) within cinema. Alisi Telengut’s The Fourfold and Tears of Inge, will be showcased alongside Chiara Faggionato and Juan Jose Chiriz Cuat’s Ajaw Q’ij. The streaming will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and author Graham Harvey, who has written books on animism and Indigenous spirituality.

Border Crossings’ Artistic Director comments, As this year’s ORIGINS programme continues to emerge, it feels particularly appropriate that we can use an innovative streaming approach to re-visit WHERE WE BELONG, the big hit of the 2019 Festival. The show is all about travels and exchanges between London and Native America, and now, having shown it at Shakespeare’s Globe, we’re able to show a new version direct from an empty theatre in Washington DC. HIDDEN HISTORIES is the perfect companion – a film about Indigenous travellers to London over the centuries.

Intercultural theatre company Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival is a multidisciplinary celebration of Indigenous arts and culture from around the world. The 2021-22 Festival offers an unprecedented and evolving year-long programme, transforming digital and physical spaces into vibrant sites of creative enquiry, intervention and performance by leading Indigenous artists and thinkers. The Festival will offer the opportunity to engage with this work and to appreciate the relevance of indigenous culture to our own lives.

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