On Tuesday 14 May, CPA UK was delighted to welcome three experienced creative practitioners for the organisation’s latest lunchtime lecture on ‘Creativity and the Commonwealth’: Alison Cox, Founder and Director of The Commonwealth Resounds, Daniel Hatton, Founder and Director of the Commonwealth Fashion Council, and poet and presenter Mr Gee.
The discussion, attended by the public, parliamentary staff and parliamentarians, opened with an energetic performance from juggler Emmanuel the Magnificent, drummer Henri Gaobi, and youth musicians Jack Thomas (drummer) and Tom Waters (saxophonist) from The Purcell School. In her speech, Alison Cox explained that this performance had been curated to show how creativity can engage artists working in different artforms to create compelling and expressive performances.
During the discussion, all three speakers reflected on their experiences of engaging on creative projects across the Commonwealth. Alison Cox shared projects which invited musicians to negotiate their sense of identity and personal challenges through musical compositions. Alison implored the audience to find ways to draw creativity into their work and consider how creativity can help them to connect with others.
Mr Gee shared his recent experiences of engaging with artists across the Commonwealth, from chairing the People’s Forum at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London, 2018, to running a writing workshop for women in Guyana. From his perspective as a spoken word artist, Mr Gee reflected that creativity remains a powerful way of engaging with other artists in difficult discussions on identity and challenges across the Commonwealth. Mr Gee then shared his own poem with the audience, which explored the complex relationships of different identities across the Commonwealth.
Daniel Hatton reflected on his own journey exploring creativity in the Commonwealth, sharing his experience of developing fashion partnerships between creative practitioners in different countries to promote sustainability. All speakers agreed that creative projects can enable people from across the Commonwealth countries to engage with one another, and to share their experiences and differences.
The CPA UK lunchtime lecture series takes place monthly and is open to the public. Visit the CPA UK website for details of upcoming events.