Newly reopened theatre and arts venue Contact opens its ten-day celebration of Black History Month next week in an exciting collaboration with Black Gold Arts.

Contact’s enviable autumn relaunch continues with a packed schedule of outstanding Black-led art, performance and film, dominated by the world premiere of mandla rae’s as british as a watermelon – a tough piece of autofiction based on the traumatic and life-changing experiences of migration and asylum (October 23-27).

Opening things up on October 19 is Kleaver Cruz (creator of The Black Joy Project) in the keynote launch event Fiercely, You Bloomed. Adam Lowe hosts the keynote, after which Chanje Kunda’s dark but deeply moving film Plant Fetish gets a full screening. “Think ‘After life’ by Ricky Gervais meets Love Island, via Gardeners’ World,” says the programme – a lot to unpack, and you’ve plenty of time to do so because this ode to the healing power of plants is available to watch for free online until October 29.

A theme of happiness and satisfaction continues in Joy In Blackness (Oct 20), an online discussion with a panel of women and non-binary speakers (including photographer/director Myah Jeffers and neuroscientist Dr Erinma Ochu) which aims to quantify the concept of joy and how it is nourished.

Mel Broomes’ movie Wrapped Up In This gets two free screenings on October 21 and 22 (both 8pm, for women of colour and non-binary people of colour), and it takes a deeply honest look at the consequences of economic migration for Caribbean and West African women the 1950s and 60s. Broomes is also running a self-care exercise class on October 22 (6pm).

Suriya Aisha’s new podcast Sickbabe launches on October 28 and, to celebrate, its creator is joined by a group of friends with invisible physical health conditions to talk about making the audio series. And rounding off the schedule is a closing keynote from black-owned/operated music business Nine Nights (Oct 29), featuring a speech from StayFresh label founder and music entrepreneur Despa Robinson and a panel discussion about the importance of community and legacy to musicians of colour.

All events in the programme are free, apart from mandla rae’s as british as a watermelon, which is £15 full price / £10 under 35s / £5 concessions / 25% off for Contact members.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Tue 19 Oct - Fri 29 Oct, Contact Theatre,
Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6JA
Words:
Sarah Walters
Published on:
Wed 13 Oct 2021