Emergency 21


Updated 14 September 2021

Emergency 21 is presented by Word of Warning + Contact on Sat 25 Sep, 12noon-4pm entry

Viewing Order

Rowena Gander · Maryam Hashemi · Ayzmar · Helena Ascough · Lydia Cottrell · Sebastian H-W · Simon Carroll-Jones & Wayne Steven Jackson · Kellie Colbert & Deborah Newton (12noon-2pm entry only) · Mitzee (2pm-4pm entry only) · Kelvin Atmadibrata · Miray Sidhom · Participating artists subject to change.
Some works may disturb, for specific Content Warnings please click here.

Programme Notes

Ground floor foyer · Rowena Gander · Is this what it takes?
“Is there an activity that makes you feel free? How many times did you repeat that activity before you felt a sense of freedom? What activities do you do on autopilot, and how many times did you have to do that thing before it became part of you? Watch me as I assemble, create with, and take down, a 70kg pole… 12 times in a row.”
A durational + looping physical solo performance that asks audiences to consider the physical demands and/or mental bandwidth that ‘empowering’ activities require. It encourages audiences to think about the time and effort they put into looking or acting in a certain way to give the impression that they are in control. The performer exposes her own complex journey to empowerment as she repetitively assembles, creates with, and takes down a pole.
As a dance theatre artist, Rowena creates thought-provoking solo performance works that question and negotiate themes of sexuality, power, and objectification in women. Since 2015 she’s worked with stigmatised objects, the vertical pole and high heels, to tease out how they can add to or dissolve female subordination. She’s performed internationally and nationally at festivals including Resolutions, Physical Fest, Innovations Platform, Secret Circus, Threshold Festival, Cirqadia, Leap Festival.
Rowena Gander · Facebook: rowenagander · @rowenagander

1st floor · Maryam Hashemi · The weaver
Maryam weaves the dream of a beautiful future with the ripped pieces of the old world.
Maryam is a performance maker whose work has been seen at Bonnington Gallery Skrontronic, Skronkfest, Exploding Cinema, Domestic.
Maryam Hashemi · Facebook: marhashem · Insta: marhashem

Space 1 lobby · Ayzmar · What Is Mine?
A personal exploration into the colonisation of body mind and culture. Shot + directed by Ramzia Jawara.
Ramzia is an interdisciplinary artist, specialising in photography. Her artistic production is an intuitive and emotional response to her surroundings and worldly affairs. With a background in performance she sees the studio as a ground to play and connect with the subject — by bringing out qualities in a way that tells the story, emphasising visual dynamics. A lot of the work she creates is composed of personal experiences around identity, and observations surrounding current affairs concerning race, gender, and sexuality.
Content Warning: please click here.
Ayzmar · Insta: ayzmar_ · @ayzmar_

Meeting room · Helena Ascough · WHAT A CLOWN!
She’s watching you, you’re watching her. WHAT A CLOWN!
Fed up of feeling as though the world is always judging disabled people, WHAT A CLOWN! watches a day in the life of a clown — watch her eat, sleep, and crack a few jokes via Zoom. Supported by hÅb + Contact for Works Ahead.
Recent-graduate Helena has built up an extensive performance, acting, and teaching CV. She’s performed her solo spoken shows at Lancashire Fringe Festival + Frontline Festival and has been commissioned by The Harris Museum, Lancaster Arts, Brewtime Collective.
Content Warning: please click here.
Facebook: Helena Ascough · @Helena_Ascough

1st floor · Lydia Cottrell · DOOMSDAY BOOKS
Our future hangs in the balance sheets, it’s accrual world and we can depreciate it together. Standing at the ledger the earth, let’s get fiscal as we liquidate our assets. Account me out and calc-u-later. Lasting around 10 minutes per individual; a durational one-to-one performance that accounts for the end of the world.
Lydia is a Leeds-based dancer who creates multi-disciplinary performance. She’s also an apocaloptimist, prepper, cosmonaut, and survivalist. She also spends a lot of time on the internet. She makes performance, curates, produces, writes, and interrogates culture and technology through her work; her practice is informed by a background in dance, live art, + music.
Content Warning: please click here.
Lydia Cottrell · Insta: Lydia_Cott · @Lydia_Cott

Dressing room · Sebastian H-W · SIIRENX
Through the medium of visual storytelling, performance art actions, and evocative soundscape, viewers are granted a brief intimate audience with SIIRENX — a gender-fluid ‘mer-thing’; a man-made-merman-maid — to learn a little history about gender, queerness, mythical ‘monsters’, self-care, limitations, and transformations.
Sebastian is a West Midlands-based live artist (MX:UK) exploring identity, memory, technology, participation, and bodies. He uses cutting-edge approaches to creating live performances, action-based interventions, immersive tours, games, and installations. He’s performed nationally + internationally, is an associate artist at performance s p a c e, an ACME studio artist, studio technician for Alice Anderson, and a performer for Geraldine Pilgrim Company and ZU-UK, among others.
Content Warning: please click here.
Sebastian H-W · Facebook: sebastnhw · @SebastnHW

Space 2 · Simon Carroll-Jones & Wayne Jackson · Re:Membering Manchester
“In March 2020, the city of Manchester took a giant intake of breath, and since then it’s been struggling to exhale. Locked down and paused, pieces of place were lost as music faded, activity stopped, and work ground to a halt. This multidisciplinary performance documents our collective attempts to pick up the pieces, to glue the city back together, to fix what has been broken. We want to re-member the city, and, in doing so, we want to remember why we’re here.”
Original idea commissioned + supported by Tangled Feet Theatre.
Simon is an award-winning theatre maker, movement director, and performer/collaborator who has worked extensively across the UK. He’s associate artist with Tangled Feet Theatre, Angel Exit Theatre, and Upstart Theatre. His most recent piece, Marco, toured nationally, and he’s currently working on a new large scale outdoor show.
Wayne began making theatre as co-founder of Escape in 2004; he’s a solo artist, lecturer, workshop facilitator, writer, and collaborator. His work explores autobiographical experiences and the vulnerability of memory to map, challenge, and document social change, using technology to represent voices that are not present.
Content Warning: please click here.
Simon Carroll-Jones · Insta: sijethrojones · @sicarrolljones
Wayne Steven Jackson · @waynesjackson

For 12noon-2pm entry only.
Space 3 · Kellie Colbert & Deborah Newton · Hidden Trauma

A durational performance exploring two women’s attempts to keep up appearances while supporting each other through the process of loss — dealing with trauma, trying to support one another and find the next steps to move forward. They will keep going, they will keep smiling, they will keep dancing, and they will not let you down as they try their best to remain positive.
Deborah is a lecturer at The Arden School of Theatre, a performance practitioner, and facilitator. She specialises in contemporary performance and is passionate about making the arts accessible for all. Often autobiographical in nature, her work explores issues around relationships, identity, and mental health. She’s performed in national + international festivals, is a mentor for Arts Emergency, and an educational board member for Tmesis.
Kellie is a Greater Manchester performance maker; an autobiographical artist who creates work that is honest, relatable, and at times self-critical. She uses spoken word and symbolism to explore memories, often focusing on themes of mental health and feminism. She’s collaborated with Eggs Collective and has been commissioned for Starvin Artists by NIAMOS + (in)sane Mcr.
Content Warning: please click here.
Insta: kellie.colbert.theatre · @imKellieColbert
Insta: debbienewtonuttley · @NewtonDebs

For 2pm-4pm entry only.
Space 3 · Mitzee · The Artist

A solo artwork, taking a candid look into the life of the iconic Mitzee.
A statuesque like figure, a living breathing artwork covered in white paint, sits on a draped piece of furniture. Still, very still. The audience applaud…
Mitzee, a Queer Artist, asks questions of originality, while the technology moulds her clay-like body into a recreation of a creation. But the question is — is Mitzee The Artist?
Mitzee is an anti-drag alter-ego created by Mark Powell. He developed the character using inspiration from the queer scene in Liverpool — playing with gender normativity, switching the role from ‘male’ to ‘female’, and then to something that can only be described as ‘other’. Mitzee/Mark is unapologetically queer, parading in ten-inch platform heels, a glittered face, and an exposed hairy chest — provoking the audience and posing questions around gender, celebrity, and popular culture. Mark is studying for an MA in Contemporary Performance at MMU.
Content Warning: please click here.
Mitzee · Facebook: thisismitzee · @thisismitzee

Space 4 · Kelvin Atmadibrata · I Believe You!!
“I believe you!!” said we who stood by and did nothing as an execution took place.
Inspired by a memorable fake-execution scene from Squaresoft’s 1997 JRPG Final Fantasy Tactics, I Believe You!! is staged as if it were child’s play, with installation constructed from paper crafts and a boot-leg fashion doll. Within a general societal context, the work responds to the inability and hopelessness of a (caring) person with masculine privilege towards the unfairly pronounced guilty.
Kelvin (b.1988, Jakarta, Indonesia) graduated with an MA in Contemporary Art Practice (Performance) from the Royal College of Art, now living and working between Jakarta + London. His works have been collected and presented at festivals and exhibitions in Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Bangladesh, India, Australia, Europe & the U.S.A. He’s the first recipient of Ivan Ladislav Galeta Prize (Croatia) for Forcing Hyacinth, seen at Emergency 2019.
Content Warning: please click here.
Kelvin Atmadibrata · Insta: kelvinatmadibrata

Space 0 · Miray Sidhom · THE BREAD WE BREAK
Drawing on her Egyptian heritage, Miray presents a live art installation exploring the role of bread in Egypt’s suppressed history of political uprising. Weaving together memories of a childhood in Cairo, frank conversations with her mother, and archive footage, she questions bread’s cultural symbolism, and fermentation as a metaphor for social change. Supported by Contact.
Miray is an emerging theatre practitioner, combining elements of film, soundscapes, poetry, and movement to create experimental and thought-provoking performances. She’s been part of Contact Young Company, including as Assistant Artist for Baby Fever. Independently, she created If I Knew it was Harmless I would’ve Killed it Myself (GM Fringe 2017). She’s currently studying for an MA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Central School of Speech and Drama.
Content Warning: please click here.

EmergencyMcr.org · #EmergencyMcr
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Performance Programme 2021

Sat 25 Sep, 12noon-4pm entry. Free | Contact
Emergency 21
Ongoing to 31 Oct | Various Venues + Online
Manchester Independents
Ongoing to 31 Dec. Free | Online

Earlier in 2021
Wed 13 Jan, 8pm. Donations welcome | Online
Wed 10 Mar, 8pm. Donations welcome | Online
Wed 26 May, 7pm. Donations welcome | Online
Oreo Prelude