Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s speech ‘I have a dream’, (celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013), DREAM NATION invited people from all walks of life to take part in a brand new multi-platform arts project. They envisioned and celebrated local, contemporary society from a wholly multi-racial perspective.
During the project, 600 people living in areas fast changing in their racial make-up, creatively articulated their views of contemporary British identity. In King’s words, the aim of DREAM NATION was to bring people ‘to come together and sing with new meaning’, exploring how King faced the issues he spoke of in 1963, and examining how we’re challenged by them today.
We invited communities across South West England to write haikus inspired by Dr King’s vision for change. These were displayed on a specially commissioned, travelling installation created by stage designer Colin Falconer. This was unveiled in November 2013 at Guest Projects in London, before touring across South West England.
We also wanted to find another way for participants to share and enjoy their own and others’ creations, so we’ve brought all the work together in our first publication – the Dream Nation e-Book! It’s a chance for the participants to see their work in print, and to share it with friends, family and fans. Check out the Dream Nation e-Book here. Use the buttons on the interactive map and at the base of each page to move from group to group and see what the participants wrote!
We published the DREAM NATION Discovery Pack which provides a range of resources and learning tools to continue the creative journey beyond Dream Nation. You can read and download the Dream Nation Discovery Pack here. And, we also published The DREAM NATION case study which summarises the discoveries we made and what we learnt during the project . You can read and download the Dream Nation Case Study by clicking here.
DREAM NATION incorporated the launch of Tangle Company, our resident ensemble of sixteen actor-singers drawn from the best of the UK's African and Caribbean theatre talent, and the inaugural performances of two specially commissioned poetic works by African and Caribbean writers, in response to Dr King’s speech.
The writers were Patricia Cumper MBE, Alia Bano, Inua Ellams, , Rex Obano, Chino Odimba, Louisa Adjoa Parker, Christopher Rodriguez, Tawona Sithole, Paula B Stanic, Pauline Walker and Andrew Whaley .
DREAM NATION toured South West England during 2014, in collaboration with South West England’s Partnership for Multi Racial Theatre, a consortium of 20 arts organisations in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon.
DREAM NATION is supported using public funding from Arts Council, England. It is produced by Tangle, and launched at Guest Projects (www.guestprojects.com) by personal invitation of Yinka Shonibare, MBE (RA).