It’s one year since the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. With everything else going on in the world right now, it’s easy to forget about the loss of freedoms and ongoing humanitarian crisis happening in the country. But thanks to Good Chance Theatre, you’ll be able to show your solidarity with the people of Afghanistan as a multi-city kite flying festival takes to the air.
Immersive event, Fly With Me, takes place on Saturday 20th August, presented by Afghan artists, actors and sportspeople. It’s spread across 15 locations in the UK and Europe to celebrate the ancient Afghan craft of kite-flying in an aerial act of solidarity. These locations include Brighton, Bradford, Dover, Folkestone, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Northamptonshire, Scunthorpe and Sheffield. Plus, many UK festivals including Manchester International Festival and Shambala are taking part. And the Fly With Me organisers are calling for more towns, cities, festivals and communities to get involved.
Making and flying kites
Fly With Me is about more than just watching a few kites in the air. Through storytelling, learn about the cultural significance of kites and Afghanistan’s complex history. And enjoy music, poetry and dance from Afghan artists and other community groups. As well as making and flying your own kite.
At kite-making workshops, Afghan storytellers bring to life the tale of Zaki. Zaki is a 12-year-old boy in Kabul who, in keeping with 800-year-old traditions, loves to fly kites each autumn. His brother Bahram was forced to flee by the Taliban, so Zaki is learning how to make kites alone with his younger sister, Marwa.
As part of the event, Good Chance is inviting you to hear Zaki’s story while learning how to make and fly kites together with him. You can find out how to join in on their website.
Master Afghan kite-maker and Brighton toyshop founder Sanjar Qiam; Afghan actor, storyteller and director Elham Ehsas (The Kite Runner, Homeland); and Afghan musician and creative consultant Elaha Soroor have helped to put Fly With Me together. With hopes of raising funds for Afghanaid’s By Her Side match-funding campaign to support women in rural Afghan communities.
Afghanistan is experiencing one of the most devastating humanitarian crises in the world. More than 23 million people face acute hunger according to the UNICEF World Food Program. Of the 16,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by the UK last year, 12,000 remain in unsuitable temporary accommodation. This means they’re unable to cook for themselves or integrate into the local community. Basic things that most of us take for granted.
As the UK shifts its focus elsewhere, the Home Office has slashed the number of Afghan refugees allowed into the UK. And the Afghan Resettlement Scheme has stalled. That’s why Fly With Me is inviting people from all backgrounds, regardless of race, nationality or religious beliefs, to come together and fly a kite. To send a message to the world to Remember Afghanistan. And to treat Afghan refugees with the same respect and open-heartedness shown to refugees from Ukraine.
Good Chance Theatre previously created The Jungle, exploring the experience of refugees in the Calais Jungle. And co-produced The Walk with Little Amal, featuring a 3.5m high puppet of a young Syrian refugee girl, highlighting the journey taken by refugee children across Europe.
Looking for more free events to entertain you this summer? Try one of these!
When: 20th August 2022
Where: Brighton, Bradford, Dover, Folkestone, Glasgow, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Northamptonshire, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, and other cities and towns across Europe
£: Free to join in
More info: www.goodchance.org.uk