A Merseyside based artist Clare Brumby has been developing a new participatory artwork to celebrate love, unity, and strength during lockdown.
A research trip to India to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Gandhi’s ‘Salt March’ and a series of online dialogues has inspired Clare to create an online peaceful protest that uses simple yoga and dance movements to convey messages of hope and unity. The performance will be broadcast on Facebook Live at 3pm on Sunday 21st June.
Working closely with choreographer Donna Unwin and the project participants, the piece has been developed through a series of dialogues and rehearsals, keeping people connected and improving wellbeing and fitness during the many weeks of lockdown. Around 20 people have been engaged in these sessions, so far, including participants from MENCAP and Natural Breaks as well as a participant from India. There is still time to get involved (no previous yoga or dance experience necessary), or if you’d simply like to watch the performance on the day click HERE!
Clare was inspired to initiate these online dialogues after returning to Liverpool from India earlier this year. While there, Clare had participated in a march to commemorate the 90th Anniversary of Gandhi’s 24 day ‘Salt March’. Unfortunately, after just 10 days the march was brought to an abrupt halt due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving Clare, along with three other foreigners, in quarantine until she could finally return home.
The original ‘Salt March’ began on 12th March 1930, when Gandhi left his Ashram in Ahmedabad to begin a 240 mile walk in an act of defiance against the British Salt Act – a rule that forced Indians to buy salt from the British and pay ‘Salt Tax’. He was joined along the route by 80 other marchers and walked 10 miles a day to Dandi, where he sourced and produced his own salt.
On 12th March 2020, with over 100 people, including participants from the US and Netherlands, Clare began following the same route that Gandhi took 90 years earlier. Following a commemorative ceremony at Gandhi’s Ashram in Ahmedabad, Clare embarked upon the pilgrimage led by none other than Tushar Gandhi – the great grandson of the iconic figure. While on the route she met many local people and conducted interviews capturing their thoughts and feelings about what changes they would like to see in the world.
Through a process of deep listening and recording conversations, Clare has used dialogue to think about the teachings of Gandhi and to explore his philosophies of non-violence. Combining her research with practical workshops has spread this teaching to a wider group and connected people online through shared movement. On 21st June 2020, International Day of Yoga, this unique online performance will be broadcast to Facebook Live to audiences across the world, creating a moment of peace and calm contemplation.
“The philosophy behind this project is very much aligned with Gandhi’s approach to creating positive change and fighting injustice by beginning with a deep change within each individual. Also, the theme of this year’s International Yoga Day is ‘Yoga at Home and Yoga with Family’ and this fits in perfectly with Salt Act as an online peaceful protest that brings so many people together, giving them space to connect and re-emerge dancing in a show of unity, strength and resilience.”
You can watch the performance on Clare’s Facebook page HERE