This year, we’re going back to our roots and getting back to our ‘no splits’ worldview in respect of two aspects of our programming. Sometimes, we need to focus on, privilege and concentrate a particular programming thread in a particular place and in a particular way – in order to demonstrate intent and to signal direction of travel. We’ve done this with Amal’s Muslim Arts programming in 2017 and with the Red Tent over the last two years.
But this year we wanted to work on a more mainstreamed and integrated bill in respect of both of these aspects of the Greenbelt programme.
So, you’ll see us working with Amal again, but to produce a stream of Muslim artistry and ideas which features across multiple of our festival stages instead of just in its own venue. See our blog here about the breadth and diversity of Muslim programming we’re proud to present this weekend with the support of Amal and the curation of Asad Ali Jafri.
And instead of having the Red Tent (as we have for the last couple of years), we’ll be bringing the sorts of content that we’ve featured in that space out into the main festival.
Here are just some things to watch out for as Red Tent content comes out this year at Greenbelt …
Marika Rose of Winchester University will be hosting daily sessions in The Shelter venue called ‘Holy Mothers of God’ in which she’ll explore what the stories of the women of Jesus’ genealogy have to tell us about sex, work, marriage and holiness.
The feminist punk band Dream Nails have curated the entire bill in the Little Big Top on Sunday in a Dream Nails Takeover that will see women and non-binary people privileged and asked to “come to the front!”. Featuring bands like Charismatic Megafauna and Ms Mohammed and culminating in a DJ set from Sink the Pink DJs, their bill promises to be a real Red Tent-type celebration of gender justice, inclusion and creativity.
Writer and broadcaster Emma Dabiri will be in conversation with Chine McDonald about the importance of hair in black culture and identity. All three of our ‘wise men’ in our Christmas communion service will be people who are not men.
In the Grove outdoor worship and spirituality venue you can enjoy sessions on Unearthing the Feminine Divine and Women’s Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible. And Mariam Khan and Yassmin Abdel Magied will be in conversation with Amirah Sackett about their book ‘It’s Not About the Burqa’ – which explores modern-day Muslim female identities.
And everywhere you look there will be wonderful artists, activists and speakers on the bill who are not men…
One of the UK’s best-loved poets, Wendy Cope, and American novelist Yvonne Battle Felton. Insightful economists Miatta Fahnbulleh and Grace Blakeley, groundbreaking scientists Maggie Aderin Pocock and Hannah Critchlow, ethical entrepreneurs Safia Minney and Miss Macaroon. Chicago based choreographer and dancer Amirah Sackett, UK spoken word artist Muneera Pilgrim and Brighton-based cultural academic Gurminder Bhambra. Magnificent mainstage music with Lucy Spraggan, Moonlight Benjamin, SOAK and Sona Jobarteh. Side-splitting comedy with Jayde Adams and Elf Lyons. Mouth-watering food sessions from Jack Monroe, Saima Khan Kate Bottley. And environmental activists Anna Fisk and the Anti-Fracking Nanas.
This year, Amal and The Red Tent are coming at ya. Watch out!