A collaborative work commissioned by Manchester Museum & Season for Change “Planet-People-Power” explores Black, Indigenous & South Asian diaspora experiences in relation to climate change, touching on intersectional environmentalism, environmental inequality and the ecological interconnectedness between Manchester and the Global South. The work features a plethora of international collaborators from artists, activists and musicians to poets, producers and curators.
Following on from previously acclaimed works for Opera North as well as being selected as MIF Sounds Artists and subsequently performing at Manchester International Festival this Summer, Farah Ahmad Khan and Balraj Singh Samrai connect once again for an equally impactful work exploring Climate Justice.
The eleven minute work centres around Farah Ahmad Khan’s poetry which draws upon natural disasters caused by climate crises amidst the four different seasons. Her powerful storytelling takes us on a journey through an accumulation of disruptions in South Asia. The piece is interspersed with profound interview excerpts from Climate Activist Pooja Kishinani, Curator of Indigenous Perspectives Alexandra P. Alberda & Manchester-based Writer, Performance Artist and Producer Keisha Thompson.
Taking the works around the globe once more, Creators Farah Ahmad Khan and Balraj Singh Samrai, approached Jamaican Artists and Vocalists Gavsborg and Shanique Marie of Kingston’s prestigious Equiknoxx collective delivers a stark poem and timely reflection respectively as well as Asian Dub Foundation’s Pandit G offering a moving example of the role green spaces have provided for People of Colour during the COVID-19 pandemic yet also the threat that looms.
Children’s voices feature in the work with award-winning Hope Jenkins of Liverpool expressing the urgency needed as well as Sohrab Chaudhry & Aleeza Khan of South Manchester promoting solutions for everyone to be better climate stewards.
Instrumentally, the work is a colourfully bright affair produced by Balraj Singh Samrai of Swing Ting alongside arrangement and co-creation from Farah Ahmad Khan with the pair also offering chilling vocal chants throughout the track. Violinist, music director, curator and composer of Manchester Collective Rakhi Singh provides beautiful strings throughout the work with Tabla-Maestro Vikaash Sankadecha supplying irresistible rhythms to match the energy and passion of the performers.
Already receiving support from Mary Anne Hobbs from BBC 6 Music this work hopes to change the face and lens of who can be active in fighting for climate justice.