As part of Visiting Arts’ programme promoting contemporary Iranian literature and culture in the UK, Norfolk communities from all different backgrounds and cultures are invited to meet and exchange through food and stories and take away a taste of Iran on 24 October at Great Yarmouth Library in collaboration with local artist led organisation originalprojects;, youth charity MAP, and GYROS (Great Yarmouth Refugee Outreach and Support). The events form part of a residency week with Iranian born theatre maker Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambahksh at the National Centre for Writing supported by Arts Council England during Autumn Half-Term activities nourishing and celebrating young people through arts and culture – Great Yarmouth’s first youth arts festival Young@Arts and Engage! programme for Young Arts Professionals in Norwich.
11:00 – 12:00 | Rumbelow Gallery, Great Yarmouth Library
Artists, writers and Great Yarmouth locals share stories of family crisis, home, love and the food that brings them together. Featuring Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambahksh, Ruthie Collins, Ellie Khojinian and GYROS Women’s Empowerment Group. Food provided by the GYROS community.
Free entry. All welcome.
14:00 – 16:00 | Rumbelow Gallery, Great Yarmouth Library
What’s the story behind your favourite dish? Get a taste for the art of storytelling, other cultures and traditions with Iranian born performer and writer Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambahksh. Make new friends, grow your storytelling skills, build your confidence, and pick up some Persian lingo. We’ll eat Persian cuisine whilst sharing stories and find out how the meals we eat travelled to Great Yarmouth.
Open to all 11 to 19 year olds – no experience required. Free to attend as part of Young@Arts Festival.
Sign up via Eventbrite bit.do/youngatarts
Food stories from GYROS Women’s Empowerment Group will be exhibited in the library during Autumn Half-Term week 22-28 October. Get involved – add your own story to the board!
How did you come across your favourite dish? What do you remember about the first time you ate it? Family/ local traditions? Special ingredients? What food reminds you of home and what does home mean to you? What might Norfolk have in common with Iran? Let’s explore through food and stories! Share your food stories with a photo and description on Instagram with the hashtag #feastofstories. A literature and culture exchange between Iran and the UK.
Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian lives in Norwich and was one of ten winners in the 2017-18 Escalator scheme for emerging writers through the National Centre for Writing. She is writing a novel set in present-day Iran that centres around a group of elderly Iranian men who come together during a family crisis. It is about love, loss, friendship and growing older. Ellie met her Iranian husband in 2004 and an extended trip to Iran ten years later inspired the characters in this novel. She wants her characters to do justice to the Iran and Iranian people that she has come to know and to love. She writes in stolen quiet moments between working in education and raising a young family.
Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambahksh is an award winning independent theatre maker born in Iran and now based in Scotland – part of the National Theatre of Scotland’s The Scale of Female Ambition. Over Nazli’s career in venues and touring she has developed a strong leadership role in producing diverse theatre in the UK in particular looking at themes of the Middle East and the lives of women. She also led on Creative Case NORTH, which is a re-imagining of Arts Council England’s approach to diversity and equality. She is an International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA) Fellow. She is currently writing a new version of the ancient Greek tragedy Medea.
Formed in 1998, GYROS supports newcomers and migrant communities across Norfolk and Suffolk, to help them settle and integrate into the local community. They believe this improves community cohesion and minimises the stress and potential dangers newcomers face and, relieve pressure which would otherwise fall on stretched local service providers. The Women’s Empowerment group are currently working on a food stories project as part of Urbagri4Women – a project funded through AMIF promoting social inclusion and female empowerment through the rehabilitation of unused space – space in urban areas that have been abandoned or in decay, urban agriculture practices are applied through practical workshops that aim to foster intercultural dialogue and more sustainable communities.