Open Mic Mehfil at the Alchemy Festival at Cast in Doncaster

Open Mic Mehfil at the Alchemy Festival at Cast in Doncaster – FREE | 3rd June | 4pm to 5.30pm

Calling young writers and word-lovers from across South Yorkshire, (particularly of South Asian heritage), bring your words and join us at the Alchemy on Tour Festival at Cast in Doncaster on 3rd June as part of a daylong celebration of South Asian culture.

If you write poems, tell stories, compose lyrics, spit bars, or have anything else to say out loud to a supportive audience, this is an event to celebrate your words, ideas and talents in a warm atmosphere.

The day and evening will be jam-packed with something for the whole family (see below line up), and at 4pm the Open Mic Mehfil will open its mic to young voices from across the region. The event is open to all young people in South Yorkshire (14 to 25), both new and experienced performers, and we’re particularly keen to hear from young people of South Asian heritage.

Our special guest at the Open Mic Mehfil is spoken word poet, activist, and original member of Leeds Young Authors, Saju Ahmed.

Interested? Either, drop us a line to reserve a definite slot, or put your name down at the start of the event (slots limited).

If you’re a young person of South Asian heritage (16 to 25yrs) from in or around Doncaster, why not come to a poetry writing workshop (no experience necessary!) with Hive at Cast to pen your first poem to read at the event. Details here.

To reserve a definite slot or find out more, email Iram Ahmed: iram@hivesouthyorkshire.com
(Facebook event to follow mid-May)

About the Alchemy Festival day 3rd June

Alchemy Doncaster (31st May to 3rd June 2017) a festival from  the Southbank Centre celebrating the diverse range of cultures and arts from the South East Asian region. The festival, which started life at Southbank Centre in London, embarks on a tour every two years. Cast in Doncaster is proud to have hosted the festival in 2015, and again now in 2017.

On Saturday 3rd June the festival will take over the whole of the Cast building with a jam-packed programme of events for the whole family starting with fun, music and drummers in the square outside. In the main space, Aagrah Restaurant will host a cooking demonstration. For children there’ll be Bhangra Tots and a Storytelling event in the Dance Space and Drama Studio. For adults there’ll be a Mosaic making workshop.

Headline Alchemy Doncaster is an electrifying night of international hip-hop as artists from South Asia and the UK mix rhymes to sound system beats, against a backdrop of video art in Beats Without Boundaries. The line-up of artists feature rapper Black Zang, host of the first ever hip-hop radio show in Bangladesh,  Ashanti De Alwis, the first Sri Lankan female rapper to be signed with Sony Music and Universal Musi alongside Paradise, Afghanistan’s first female rapper, and partner Diverse, who make tracks speaking out for women’s rights in Afghanistan. From India comes pioneer of feminist rap Dee MC, and Naezy, whose popularity has soared thanks to his music about politics and poverty.

In Cast’s Second Space Sacred Sounds, will highlights the role of Sikh soldiers in the First World War set against spoken word and religious Sikh music. Bilal Zafar, an up and coming British Pakistani comedian, will also do some evening stand up.

Also in the evening, Cast Associate Artists Target Theatre company will be presenting a reading of their new play Made. Southbank Centre will be hosting their participation piece called Mother Tongues from Farther Lands which explores stories of women.

(For more information visit here)

Saju Ahmed was encouraged to do spoken word poetry at 16 through Leeds Young Authors when he was close to getting kicked out of sixth form. He said, at the time he thought – ‘Poetry’s not for me. I’m more Nas and Tupac so I won’t find the connection.’ But connect he did, and poetry was the catalyst for his liberation.

In the 12 years since, Saju has achieved great things in the realm of spoken word poetry. He’s competed in many slams at local and international level to huge audiences, including Brave New Voices Poetry Slam in America, in which his team came 2nd in the world in 2009. He was one of the featured poets in the award winning We Are Poets documentary, and in Dyslexia and Loving Words, which explores what it is to be a successful dyslexic wordsmith (YouTube).

Over the years, Saju has hosted slams and run workshops with younger writers to help them find and develop their voice. He currently mentors younger poets through Leeds Young Authors who are due to go on tour in Miami in February 2017.

Saju has appeared in the BBC Radio 1xtra Live Lounge with Trevor Nelson, ABC in America in an interview with Janice Edward, FOX News with the Chicago Peace Movement, the Olympic torch ceremony Leeds 2012, the Tour de France in Yorkshire 2014, and at the Rugby World Cup at Hadley Stadium.

In partnership with Cast in Doncaster

Main image taken from – The Youth Word Up at Off the Shelf Festival of Words 2016