Alchemy Black Country, the festival of South Asian Arts, kicks off this weekend for 8 days of music, art, film, talks and performance. Started at London’s Southbank Centre the annual event tours the country every other year taking the festival to the Black Country, Oldham and Doncaster. The Black Country stage is produced by Black Country Touring and partners with Creative Black Country to host Local and international artists for a packed line-up taking place 20-28 May. We’ve picked the five events we’ll definitely be heading to…
India Rocks! (Or NOT?)
Saturday 20th May, 6pm-10pm
Free see eventbrite here
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton, Wv1 1DU
The event kicks off in style at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Saturday evening with a panel discussion about British Asians and their relationship with India. This will be followed by an exclusive music set from mercury nominated DJ Swami with ‘Punjabtronix’, where sounds of Punjab meets cutting edge electronica.
As part of the UK-India year of culture 2017 you are invited to explore The Black Country’s Punjab through a prism of women’s lives. Four talented photographers: Uzma Mohsin (India), Andrea Fernandes (India), Jennifer Pattison (UK) and Jocelyn Allen (UK) present Girls, Girls, Girls! a work in progress.
14 yrs +.
Mersey Miniatures: The Singh Twins
- pictured top.
Saturday 20th May – Sunday 23rd July, 10.30-4.30pm; Sun 11-4pm
Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1DU
International artists The Singh Twins explore their Indian heritage and the coming together of east and west, in the past and up to the present day, in a series of exquisite miniature paintings on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery. Here the Singh Twins’ contemporary Miniatures Series continues to inform the on-going and mutual influences between Indian and British culture and art, and presents to viewers how traditionally perceived boundaries between places, cultures and times begin to dissolve.
Beats Without Boundaries
Wednesday 24th May, £7.30pm, £10/£8
Arena Theatre, Wulfruna Street, Wolverhampton, WV1 1SE
A night of rap and hip hop features UK premieres and transcontinental collaborations by artists from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and the UK, including Afghanistan’s 143BandMusic (Paradise and Diverse), MC and activist Black Zang from Bangladesh, leading Indian rappers Naezy and Dee MC, Sri Lankan singer and songwriter Ashanthi de Alwis and UK artists, rapper Awate (pictured), MC and actress Paigey Cakey, singer and rapper Raxstar, producer Sunit Music and DJ Turkish Dcypha.
This performance is a culmination of an international creative project, pairing UK artists with South Asian rappers, offering a rare opportunity for audiences to see many of these artists outside of South Asia performing together. Remixing brand new material, woven together by a sound system DJ and performed against a backdrop of video art.
Funny Girls with Noreen Khan
Thursday 25th May, 7.45-9.30pm
Box Office: Wolverhampton Art Gallery (in person); wolvescivic.co.uk or 0870 320 7000
BBC DJ Noreen Khan hosts a night of comedy with her favourite stand up comics, Sukh Ojla, Sindhu V and Shaista Aziz. For the first time, this all female line up will share more than a few good jokes.
Desi Pub Crawl
Sunday 28th May, Tours start 3pm – finishes 8pm
£10 (includes travel from The Red Cow to The Prince of Wales, a limited edition piece of artwork, a bag, a pint and some beer mat
Booking details are here.
The Red Cow Pub, 296 High Street, Smethwick, B66 3NL
Completing the week in style hop onto the desi pub bus for a tour around the Black Country’s best kept secret; its Indian pubs. Meet the landlords, see some original desi pub artist commissions that were produced as part of a large-scale Creative Black Country project in 2016 and grab a pint! Each desi pub serves speciality desi grills and a range of home cooked curries so there will be plenty to soak up all those tipples. You’ll tour 4 or 6 pubs.
There’s plenty of other great events taking place across the 8 days – for full listings see the website here. #AlchemyBC