Arrivals and Introductions

January 2016, Ahmedabad, India.

I suppose the clue is in the title – Long Haul, and it was a long haul – also the first time I had long hauled on my own! Often the hardest bit of any journey is the last four miles, when you are tired, jet lagged and have no idea where you are…but this, in the end, seemed to go without a hitch, thanks to the intrepid driving skills of the rickshaw driver.

So far there are eight of the eighteen artists who will arrive to be part of the Trans-Form project. Set up last year by dancer and carnival artist Manuela Benini, the project will work with 11 schools, mainly on the outskirts of the city, to create a carnival on the 23rd January.

Although it has only been two days, a lot has happened. We have met with staff at the Mohatma Ghandi International School to see round and talk about how they would like to be involved.

We than had a big artist meeting, with everyone introducing themselves, their practice and what they are hoping to create. What an exciting mix of artists and makers. As well as Manuela, there is Drama and storytelling (Angharad), puppetry and performance (Jo), sculpture and casting (Andrea), big build carnival (Caroline), sound and rhythm (Steph), visual art and performance (Emily), as well as what I will be developing. Bringing some of the ideas from our own Flying Free Troupe, creating more flying creatures and giant birds, as well as ideas around sustainability and the environment.

Over the next few days, we will be deciding which school or group each artist will be focusing their main project with, and who they will be collaborating with, as everyone will be supporting everyone to deliver the workshops. We will also start to source all the materials we need to make and create with, as well as investigating processes such as dying and casting. A lot to do…..

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