All around you you have people telling you who and what you should be. What you should think. What you should know. How you should behave. How much you should pay. What you should believe. Incessantly. For far too long we have been enslaved for far too much to ideology, to various belief systems, to politics, to religion, to the hierarchy, and those who deem to have the power.
And what good has this brought us?
Surely your life means much more and holds much more value to you than just a political belief or ideology. Sure life is all about such things as love, happiness, pleasure, sadness, trauma, fear, pain, inner conflict and struggles, misery, boredom, anxiety, tension, anticipation, hope, longing, and much more.
It doesn't take much. Just take an empty space, a couple of characters, a story, even a scenario, not much more, and you.
When someone speaks in that space you listen. You watch. You pay attention. For a short period of time what is happening in that space becomes real as if it's the truth, as if it's really happening, and within that space which you're convinced is reality you are engaged, you are involved, and so whatever story is being developed, you are the witness to that story, you are involved, you are connected.
You identify with the characters in the story. What they feel you feel. Through them your own experiences and memories become alive, become real once again.
Life takes on a new meaning, doesn't it?
Qultura Fringe is the original community project of the Qultura community. In fact Qultura Fringe existed here in Nine Elms in London even before there was a Qultura community or before the Qultura community was even thought of. This started in the upstairs room of The Duchess pub sometime late in 2007 when we first staged a production of Stella Baker's 'Death'to an audience of around 40 people. This means that we were here even before there were any property developments or property developers.
When the Qultura community came into being late in 2009 we sought to diversify from theatre and explore drama in different forms - film, drama workshops, audio, video, theatre for video, comedy sketches, and the spoken word, the narrative, the documentary, and even the Prelinger archive mashup. Anything to create a connection to drama, to other people, to the narrative, to truth and to individual human experience.
This is the whole point of Qultura Fringe - shifting the emphasis and focus of attention back onto the drama, the importance and relevance of individual human experience, and such experience which can be shared.
It's kind of sad to have to point this out, but we will anyway. Qultura Fringe is not some middle class exclusive drama venture. There is no social class, no social position, no preferred skin tone or colour, or background. The empty space is an empty space, the experience is human, so the story is human also, and if the story is human, it exists to be shared, because that is what drama is all about, connection between individual human experience, individual human truth, individual human reality, and an audience.
How else do you expect to bring a community together if you're not prepared to share your experience and individual truth?
We wish to stress that Qultura Fringe is, more than anything else, a performing arts community. This is all about the direct sharing of individual human experience and transforming it in some way into something new. We are strictly non-commercial, non-profit-making, we do this for people, for community, and to create new opportunities for new people - up to and including people who are street homeless - to become involved in the performing arts.
Therefore this is an opportunity to share your individual human experience with others and we don't care whether you write it, act it, perform it, speak it, say it, or find some other way of sharing it as long as it is dramatic. By the same token we exist to promote the performing arts and drama in local communities and create events, productions, projects, workshops, and even happenings which are engaging, fun, serious and thought provoking. We also create drama workshops which create opportunities for people to explore, experiment, and discover new ways to overcome trauma and suffering in their lives.
There's a lot you can do with drama if you're prepared to come into this with an open mind and open heart.
This is all about the experience, the art, the creativity, the techniques, the connections, the fun, the mystery, and the consciousness which develops out of the drama, out of those empty spaces, out of the shared individual human experiences.
If you're feeling this and can feel the vibe, please feel free to reach out and get involved. Find your niche. Be yourself.