Photo Credit: Sumiko Tamuro
In the autumn of 2015 Phakama took it’s first trip to Japan where we delivered a public talk and three days of workshops that explored the Phakama practice at Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre, training arts practitioners and facilitators in participatory practice.
Phakama Associate Artist, Charlie Folorunsho, and Japanese theatre designer, Yasuo Fujihara joined Phakama to deliver a workshop and another public talk at the Toyhashi Arts Centre which focused on uniting communities through participatory arts.
The team then delivered a series of communications workshops to students at Asahi University in Gifu. To end the programme a small group of university students collaborated with young local migrants from the Kani International Exchange to create a site-specific performance in a week, the performance explored themes found in The Tempest – Journeys, Dreams, Islands and Heritage.
Queen Mary University of London lecturer, Caoimhe McAvinchey joined the team for the last 2 days, giving a lecture at the closing symposium ‘Playing for Real: Perspectives on Performance and Community’.
In preparation for the trip the Phakama Youth Board created a parcel to send to their peers in Kani, which they then used as a creative stimulus during workshops. The box contained items that the Youth Board would take with them on a journey. The group in Kani then took part in a reciprocal exercise, creating something for Phakama to bring back and inspire the young people we work with in London, creating connections and links despite the physical distance between these two groups.