Launch of TIDE Salon: An interactive multimedia exchange of music and spoken word poetry by Southasian British Artists
TIDE Salon is a radical new archive led by Professor Nandini Das, whose research focuses on travellers’ accounts from the 16th and 17th centuries. It is a ground-breaking, interactive multimedia collaboration between TIDE, the award-winning novelist Preti Taneja, six extraordinary sound and spoken word artists (Steve Chandra Savale, Sarathy Korwar, Shama Rahman, Ms. Mohammed, Sanah Ahsan, and Zia Ahmed), curator and creative producer Sweety Kapoor, and filmmaker Ben Crowe (ERA Films). It is supported the Humanities Cultural Programme, one of the founding stones of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities and the TIDE project.
TIDE Salon has brought Nandini’s research into a new space, making it available wider public audiences.
‘It was utterly terrifying,’ says Professor Das. ‘It is not often you get to talk about early 16th century political theory with contemporary artists and musicians... and find that your throwaway reference to the Tudor ‘Register of Aliens’, which recorded immigrant presence in the country during the times of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, was picked up by the artists and has inspired some surprising and amazing work.’
The artists were invited to choose three words and create works for the Salon resulting in: Alien, Traveller and Savage. As Professor Das explains, the artists working on the word ‘alien,’ reflected on TIDE’s research into the term (which meant foreigner in the 16th century), with their own memories, of growing up as a person of colour in late-twentieth century Britain and taking refuge in the diverse world of sci-fi literature.’
‘It was entirely up to them how they used those words’, says Professor Das, ‘they had carte blanche.’
The result was the creation of three musical pieces, in collaboration with curator and creative producer Sweety Kapoor, and filmmaker Ben Crowe (ERA Films). Preti Taneja produced an entirely new piece of writing to frame the work, presenting each collaboration as fragments of archival records puzzled over by a traveller/researcher of the future, trying to make sense of history.
‘This is one of the most radically experimental things we have done throughout the project,’ says Professor Das. ‘The installation reflects the process of collaboration but also the views of the artists...they chose their own adventures and the Salon visitor is invited to take their own journey, creating their own narrative ‘.
ENTER THE SALON
Project page: TIDE Salon: An interactive multimedia exchange of music and spoken word poetry by Southasian British Artists