School of Integration
Fri 5 July, 2019
Sat 20 July, 2019
- About the show
Tania Bruguera’s powerful, provocative and inspiring new work draws us nearer to those who’ve made this city their home, inviting us to discover and embrace the diversity in our midst.
During MIF19, the school offered over 80 classes on a wide-ranging curriculum that includes food, customs, ethics, politics and many other forms of knowledge – classes given by local people originally from countries around the world, from Zimbabwe to Tibet. These were not only instructional lessons, but something more personal and vivid. Each teacher passed on their own experiences, sharing skills, knowledge and culture in a different kind of communal integration and learning experience in the heart of Manchester.
Open and free to all, School of Integration fostered cohesion and helped build bridges of cultural understanding – encouraging us to eliminate the idea of strangeness and cherish a plurality of voices, and integrating us with the world.
Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and Manchester Art Gallery.
A haven for people to share experiences and knowledge . . . A forum for the pleasure of coming together and using the gallery as a place in which everyone is a participant
The School of Integration humanizes the faceless immigrants that the public are so often taught to fear, spurring a change of outlook. . . If art, as she suggests, can really be a tool for social change, we can hope that this is just the beginning
In a cultural atmosphere that often accentuates divisions the opportunity to come together with people unlike ourselves is most welcome.
Listening time: 26 minutes
Welcome to your first day at the School of Integration. This episode is all about sharing knowledge across cultural divides. When people arrive in a new country they are usually expected to learn the customs and languages of the host culture, but what if the tables were turned?
Cuban artist Tania Bruguera acknowledges that integration is a two-way street and gives us the chance to learn from people who have moved to Manchester and made it their home.
On the curriculum are lessons by the Congolese drummer and community leader Pat Mackela, who asks is marriage a topic for the 21st Century? Mei Yuk Wong, an artist from Hong Kong discusses the art of protest, and Iranian writer Shahireh Sharif shares the forward thinking insights of Shahnameh, an epic Persian poem written over a thousand years ago.
Don’t forget your homework!
Hosted by Isaiah Hull. Music by Vicky Clarke. Produced by Rebecca Gaskell.
A Reduced Listening and Manchester International Festival production.