Preview: Manchester Jewish Museum’s Festival of Belonging
By Jay Darcy
From 7th-14th March, Manchester Jewish Museum will be putting on an innovative arts festival. They will be exploring “what makes us feel that we belong, how we assimilate in new places and what happens when we don’t belong”.
As part of their ‘wandering’ phase, they have been thinking about the stories in their collection of Jewish people who came to Manchester, and how they attempted to assimilate and foster a sense of belonging.
This is all the more relevant and topical, given the recent and ongoing topic of migration. Manchester Jewish Museum state the historical stories of Jewish migration will be linked with contemporary stories of migration to Manchester from Jewish and non-Jewish communities in the Festival of Belonging.
The festival features comedy, theatre, music, storytelling, films and visual art, and did I mention food?!
The programme goes as follows:
Dark Room (7th-14th March) is an installation exploring anonymous photos in the museum’s collection.
Family Storytelling (7th March) offers the opportunity to explore the amazing stories in the Story Selector Machine, brought to life
Good Appetite (8th March) features Theatre Chef Leo as the host for a unique foodie film experience.
The Great and the Grand (9th March) is a sharing of new musical theatre work in tribute to the sacrifices, support and adventures of “our” grandparents.
Immigrant Diaries (10th March) is an all-female, multi-faith night of comedy on the Jewish Festival of Purim, exploring the “hot topics” immigration, migrants, the refugee crisis.
My Jerusalem (11th March) is a solo performance derived from a song; a politically-charged tale of a drunken one-night stand, infused with stories of growing up in the turmoil of 1980s Israel.
Songs of Arrival (12th March) is a performance of songs based on the stories of Jewish refugees arriving in Cheetham from Manchester Jewish Museum’s oral history collection, as well as contemporary stories of migration to Manchester.
Rendezvous in Bratislava (14th March) is a cabaret by a woman and her grandfather, who she’s never met and just so happens to have been dead for 39 years.
Keep an eye out on The Mancunion‘s social media pages for a giveaway for Immigrant Diaries.
The Festival of Belonging runs at various venues from 7th until 14th of March.