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Community Creations to Take Centre Stage at Major Portsmouth Festival

Published: 11th October 2018 10:48

Communities across Portsmouth have been coming together since April to make colourful creations that will form part of a celebratory Creating Communities procession from Fratton Community Centre to St Mary’s Church on Sunday 28 October as part of Journeys Festival International Portsmouth 2018.

The Festival, now in its third year and produced by national arts organisation, ArtReach, runs from 19 – 28 October.

Claire Woollard, Producer for the Festival said, “We’ve been working to bring local communities and members of refugee communities together, to create a welcoming Festival for everyone. The Festival explores refugee experiences through great art but we keep it accessible for all. There’s a great range of family friendly events to enjoy, which is always a good way to bring communities together. The Festival covers October half term, so, there is plenty to do to keep the family entertained, and mostly, for free.” The Creating Communities procession, that features a dragon and many other exotic creatures created locally, will form a central part of the culminating Weekender part of the Festival.

The Weekender is at St Mary’s Church on 27 and 28 October and features a whole weekend of world-class music performances for free. People can expect to see a great line up of local musicians alongside some of the finest international performances available.

You can also see free theatre (or ‘Pay What You Can’) in local venues, a chance to soak up exciting culture in some of the best venues in Portsmouth. Show details for these performances at New Theatre Royal on 16 October and Portsmouth Guildhall on 20 October, can be found at www.journeysfestival.com/portsmouth

Other highlights of the Festival include; ‘Look Up’ a large scale outdoor exhibition which will be installed across the city centre by international artist Svetlana Ochkovskaya; world music performances; documentary screenings; and several art exhibitions around the city. Audiences and participants can also enjoy family-friendly creative arts workshops, as the Festival strives to identify and exhibit the exceptional work and extraordinary talents of refugee artists.

Svetlana Ochkocskaya, the artist creating the outdoor exhibition told us, “It’s an honour to be a part of Journeys Festival International. It’s great to see that each year the Festival gets bigger and better. I’m so excited by the chance to display my work across the city. It’s not often an artist gets the opportunity to work on such a grand scale.”

University of Portsmouth will be hosting Future Aleppo, an exhibition by a 13 year old boy who, initially, rebuilt his home city of Aleppo in paper models as a reaction to the bombing. Future Aleppo has since been converted into a virtual reality experience and you can experience the model and virtual reality installation at the Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth, from 22 – 26 October.

Journeys Festival International is funded by Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, ISD, University of Portsmouth, Film Hub South West, Hornpipe Arts for Schools, Ernest Cook Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. To see the full programme head to https://www.journeysfestival.com/portsmouth or grab yourself a printed brochure from the Guildhall.

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