Meet Our New Programme Assistant
I’m Bronwen, Festival of Voice’s new Programme Assistant. Well, I say new, I’ve been here for about eight weeks now…well more like six weeks. Since leaving London on May 29th I’ve got myself a job, travelled to Rio De Janeiro for two weeks on a research trip, and graduated from Queen Mary University of London. It’s been a busy few months.
I’m originally from Cwm in the south Wales valleys, now living on my parent’s farm near the village of Manmoel, and in-between I lived in London for three years whilst studying drama at Queen Mary Uni. It’s there that I discovered my love for all kinds of performance, and producing, particularly arts festivals. Coming off the back of a placement at the London International Festival of Theatre I’ve ended up here in the FoV Team.
During my time here, I had a two-week trip to Rio. As part of People’s Palace Projects I was one of a group of six students who were selected to travel to Rio to experience the work of cultural groups and Non-Government Organisations doing outreach work in Rio’s favelas. I cannot fully describe how this experience affected me. It’s this mix of uplifting, angering and saddening that’s too hard to pin down. Rio’s politics is complicated, but the consequences are clear; people living in a segregated part of the city are suffering from police violence and gang warfare. Describing the work that is being done by the groups I had the honour of working with as inspiring is an injustice, the positive influence and empowerment of these groups is indescribable. From Afro Reggae’s Second Chance initiative, that gives ex-convicts a second chance of employment and life, to the art gallery in Maré created and curated by Redes da Maré, a huge conglomerate of 16 favelas, culture has been made into a political weapon to fight those trying to squander the lives of those in the favelas.
It’s this sort of experience that I hope will enhance the Festival of Voice team and the festival itself.
FoV is a huge undertaking, all sorts of things seem to be happening all at the same time. So being part of the team means lots of different things. It’s arranging meetings left, right and centre for all sorts of exciting things, from programming to branding. It’s seeing pieces that are in development phases, and planning what performances I want to see at Edinburgh Festivals. It’s filling in excel spreadsheets and knowing you’re helping to craft what will be an ace festival.
Things are sure to amp up in the next couple of months, and I can’t wait to see the festival take shape!