Over the past few months, we have supported 35 artists and performers from across Greater Manchester to develop work during the lockdown, as part of our response to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the creative community.

Some of these have been presented as part of the Festival In My House.. And Yours series, others as Remote Residencies and yet more via a host of workshops and one-off projects.

Here are some of the #MIFCreatives2020 projects which you can still see online…

Landbreaks by Mark Croasdale

An interdisciplinary artist and theatre maker, Mark Croasdale is interested in human psychology, human history and the humour of being human. He is eager to find new ways to use technology to help us ‘switch-off’, re-focus and allow our minds to wonder. For his MIF-supported project, Mark used his daily exercise through his home town of Stockport as inspiration – documenting moments of peace in his local countryside to create a ten-part micro series of ‘Landbreak’ videos/soundscapes.

The digital interruptions last anywhere between 3-15 minutes, and, in Mark’s words aim to “disrupt your online entropy with a few moments of calm countryside and relaxing vocals”. The series also features other Greater Manchester artists such as Keisha Thompson (Grove), Amy Vreeke (Glance), Andrew McMillan, Ben Mellor and Lowri Evans

Explore the full series

Chattin: The Big Chat by Josh Wilkinson

Actor and presenter Josh Wilkinson has created a one-off time capsule of Greater Manchester’s thoughts during lockdown for his MIF project. Chattin: The Big Chat, Corona Convo, is a film documenting 40 different voices and opinions drawn from 1-1 conversations with a host of people across the city region from artists, shop workers and funeral directors to NHS staff and community centre leaders.

Each were asked the same eight questions including: When did Coronavirus first affect you in your life? What has lockdown been like for you?  What have you been doing with your time in isolation? What is your hope for the future? All of the responses were then edited together to create a film documenting these unique conversations.

Watch the finished film

Alternative Fitness Class by Amy Vreeke
Manchester-based Amy Vreeke is a stand-up comedian, actor, theatre maker, and writer who has been a finalist at The Leicester Square Theatre Comedy Awards and The Funny Women Awards. She is currently touring her solo comedy theatre show ‘The Year My Vagina Tried to Kill Me’, based on her experience living with endometriosis.

For her MIF supported project Amy took inspiration from the current vogue for hyper productivity and fitness – delivering an alternative fitness class which invited the audience to embrace the laziness of staying at home. The class followed the same format as a fitness video, but it swapped weights and Lycra for chocolate biscuits and pyjamas. Slowing down, finding comfort in our surroundings and allowing ourselves to indulge in this change of pace without guilt is what this class aimed to do.

Watch the class on Facebook

Still Breathing by Charlotte Barber
“We as a world are currently experiencing this, all of us have suffered loss to this virus.”

Charlotte Barber is a Greater Manchester-based songwriter, electronic Composer, DJ, and Producer. For her MIF Remote Residency Charlotte has created a haunting short Audio/Visual film exploring responses to Coronavirus through the lens of Ambiguous Grief (AG). AG is defined as a loss that is either unending or without closure or that has no clear understanding or set out rituals. The film explores this loss from both a personal and wider perspective.


Let’s Keep Growing . . . at Home by Juliet Davis
Let’s Keep Growing is a community-led gardening project working on turning Longsight alleyways and other spaces into friendly, green havens for people and wildlife – using food growing in small communal spaces as a way to bring people together

For their MIF supported project Juliet Davis and the team are distributing free seed and compost to Longsight residents during the COVID-19 crisis. Later this autumn, they will co-ordinate a communal meal for all the residents with the fruits of the harvest.

Find out more about the project on their website

Trauma Now, Trauma Then by Youcef Hadjazi

For his Remote Residency, artist Youcef Hadjazi created an exploration of transgenerational trauma in post-colonial nations, focused on the Algerian Civil War – also known as ‘The Black Decade’. COVID-19 was a point of reference and a triggering element to the notion of collective traumas, which formed the basis of his inspiration to shape this project.

The resulting film features movements, developed in collaboration with illyr, based on psychotherapeutic practices that are proven to distract the brain from the body, allowing the mind to travel through and reprocess selected memories. Each movement revisits a particular date and location of a certain massacre that took place during the civil war, which is repeatedly recited throughout each movement in the performance.

Read more about Trauma Now, Trauma Then

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