Wonder Sessions 2023 – Performance at Fitzroy House, Lewes

A performance I gave at Fitzroy House, Lewes, of story from We Hear You Now, together with Razia Aziz and accompanied by musicians Dirk and Adam Campbell, hosted by Lewes Live Lit, The Wonder Sessions (part of Wonder Project curated by Marco Crivello). Video to come. Photo: Parisa Taghizadeh

Care(free) 2020

Once when Cura was crossing a river, she saw some clay. Thoughtfully, she took up a piece and began to shape it’. From the Greco-Roman creation myth of Care.

Care(free) is a new piece of prose poetry, playing with the Greco-Roman creation myth of Care, taking the listener through the future imaginary of the goddess Cura (Care) as she creates the first human out of clay. Click on the soundcloud link above to listen (11 minutes long).It explores care and its relationship to gender, freedom, loss and human rights. Written with the support of Malika Booker’s brilliant Poetry Challenge. References and influences on the story are below. I wrote the text and it is read by actor Eva Pope.

Commissioned as part of my time as Associate Artist at Birkbeck Gender and Sexuality, University of London as part of Care Collaborations: 2020-21, where Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre (where I am a Fellow) collaborates with other research centres to support the development of three digital artworks accessible online exploring the subject of care.

Influences and references:

The Care Manifesto – by The Care Collective 

Nasrin Sotoudeh – Iranian human rights defender, still in prison.

Malika Booker’s 5-Day Poetry Challenge (Arvon)

Gentle Radical’s Anthologies of Care

Many thanks to the beta readers input, from our Writer’s Groups with Writing Our Legacy

And to Craftspace for the opportunity to develop the interactive project Craft in Common earlier this year, as well as previous work for which whet my appetite to drill down deeper into this subject. And to Here who asked me to consider the meaning of care with them, in 2017, in the first place. 

For more on this piece, see the BiGs website ( link here)

Where There is a Ruin, long poem for performance in Coventry Cathedral, RISING PEACE FORUM, 2015

Where There is a Ruin was both an art installation and a poetry performance set between Coventry Cathedral Ruins, RISING Peace Forum – and online. It evoked a cycle of destruction, renewal, giving and receiving which resides in the collective memory of the city –  and its connection to so many other places that have been affected by violent conflict. On the final day of RISING, over 100 small, green, wrapped objects – symbols of loss, conflict and migration – were installed by the artist in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral as an offering to the space and anyone who came in search of one.

In the evening Alinah gave a short performance recital of a poem in the Cathedral to close RISING, which she wrote inspired by her research and engagement with Coventry’s history, its culture of welcome and the leading-edge work of the Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre. For more about the background and motivation for her work, as RISING 16 National Artist-in-Residence read her blog on this site. The video clip of the performance and photos of the installation will be on this and the RISING site soon. The performance acted as a bridge between the end of the Forum and the transition to Rising Free at Fargo Village, where she also performed one of her more personal stories  from a growing collection of work rooted in her British – Iranian identity. Alinah was also on the Culture and Conflict: Art and Activism panel during RISING, which also be on Youtube in the coming weeks.

More on RISING here. Supported by The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations at Coventry University.

All About The Gift – 2015
Freud Museum London.

A take-over of Freud Museum, London exploring the role of gift in both my own practice and in the practice of Dr Freud… performances, workshops,  a feast and talks in collaboration with psychoanalysts, musicians, cooks, the public.

A short film of the event on YouTube here. 

It  was one of six Connect! artists programmes for Museums at Night 2015 for Culture24.

Burning the Books (touring) 2012-15

A live , collaborative intervention making connections between the human constructs of debt, sin, absolution and payback. Originally part of Present in Public, a development programme for new gift-based public  interventions, curated by Tim Jeeves, throughout the city of Liverpool as a part of Giving in to Gift. The artist acted as a confessor-cum-scribe, listening to and writing down details of  personal debts anonymously gifted to her by the public on the streets of Liverpool –  whether financial, emotional  or metaphysical – into a large book. Contributors were then invited to witness the ceremonial  recital and burning of the book later on in the Bluecoat courtyard.

Burning The Books – touring a book of debts around 9 UK cities via residences, filling it and co-performing it 2013 – 2015. Hosted by Blank Studios,  Birmingham Cathedral, Fabrica Gallery, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Duckie, Future Dreaming, Asia Triennial Manchester at Imperial War Museum North and 198 contemporary Arts and Learning, Brixton. Touring supported by Arts Council England.

Media: read an article with Alinah in the Guardian, radio interview on BBC Womans Hour and interview with Canadian CBC programme ‘Tapestry’ here on the project.

Museum of Mental Objects (2007)

Contributing artist to this project by Judy Freya Sibayan at Peer Gallery, London

Information here. 

Lore and Other Convergences (2006)

A collaborative performance by Janine Antoni binding diverging stories into a hand-made 200 foot long rope. I collaborated with 13 international artists under the guidance of New York artists Janine Antoni and Melissa Martin. The concept was to contribute materials from the archive of our lives to make rope and explore meaning through stories and artefacts. I contributed remants of cloth connected to my daughters birth and my mothers death a few weeks later. The rope was performed in the streets of London, UK and then in a gallery with audience members.

Lore and Other Convergences featured: Alinah Azadeh, Lisa Bradley, Helena Bryant, Amanda Couch, Christine de Leon, Raimi Gbadamosi, Rachel Kalpana James, Veronique Maria, Monica Miranda, Owen Parry, Patricia Scanlon, Shabnam Shabazi, Lorna Stewart, and Fiona Wright.

Produced by the Live Art Development Agency as part of Restock, Rethink, Reflect.