CITIZENS THEATRE AND GOOD CHANCE THEATRE INVITE GLASWEGIANS TO JOIN KITE-FLYING FESTIVAL

  • The Citizens Theatre today announces details of their partnership with Good Chance Theatre to bring kite-flying festival, Fly With Me, to Glasgow.
  • The one-day multi-city festival is an aerial act of solidarity and welcome to the people of Afghanistan and all those seeking refuge - marking one year since the fall of Kabul.
  • A free, public event will take place on Saturday 20th August 2022 (1.30pm –3.30pm) on Glasgow Green.
  • The event will showcase kites created by local community groups in collaboration with community artists, Afghan practitioners and the Citizens Theatre.
  • Members of the public are also invited to take part in a kite-making workshop (Sat 20th August, 12pm – 1.30pm); download a free instructional kit to create a kite at home or simply bring along their own kite to take part.
  • The Fly With Me festival calls on the UK Government to treat all people seeking asylum fairly and equally, including those from Afghanistan.

On Saturday 20th August 2022, marking one year on since the fall of Kabul, Good Chance Theatre (creators of The Jungle and The Walk with Amal) in collaboration with partners across UK and Europe, including the Citizens Theatre, will launch Fly With Me, a multi-city one day festival of kite-flying. Fly With Me invites people everywhere to build and fly their own kite in an epic act of solidarity and welcome to the people of Afghanistan – and all those seeking refuge.

Over 20 cities and towns across 6 countries will host Fly With Me events including Manchester, Bradford, Scunthorpe, London, Dover, Folkestone,Pas-de-Calais, Paris, Copenhagen, Berlin and Glasgow, where the Citizens Theatre will host a kite-flying event on Glasgow Green in collaboration with members of Glasgow’s Afghan community, following a programme of community workshops with local groups and individuals. The event will bring people together to celebrate and preserve Afghan culture through the simple joy of kite-flying and call for equal and fair treatment of all people seeking safety, including those from Afghanistan.

Over the coming weeks, local groups including Standing Tall Arts, YCSA (Youth Community Support Agency) and The Barn Youth and Community Centre will work with the Citizens Theatre and the Fly With Me team, Fairooz Khan and Elena Mary Harris, to learn about and make kites which will then take to the skies at an event at Glasgow Green on Saturday 20th August.

Catrin Evans, Head of Creative Learning at Citizens Theatre said, “The Citizens Theatre has a rich history in sharing stories of migration and the struggle for refugee justice. Most recently we collaborated with Good Chance Theatre when Little Amal came to Glasgow during COP26 and we are very proud to be working with them again on Fly With Me, which draws our attention to Afghanistan and extends solidarity to refugees from across the world. On the 20th August, our community event will focus on the literal and metaphorical beauty of flying; exploring how kites can rise above so many of the borders that have been created around people on land, reminding us of the freedom sought by so many. In Glasgow, solidarity and welcome are often enacted through community and we hope that our event can be part of that spirit of resistance alongside celebration.”

A kite-making workshop, open to everyone, will take place at Glasgow Green from 12pm – 1.30pm in advance of the main kite-flying event. Places for this workshop are limited and must be booked in advance. Spaces are available to book from citz.co.uk.

People of all ages are then invited to come together from 1.30pm as the kites take to the sky shortly before 2pm in a visual display of solidarity with Afghanistan and to celebrate Afghan culture. 

Members of the public are welcome to bring their own kites to the event. A free kite-making pack, which has been made available by Good Chance Theatre, can be downloaded here. Each pack comes with instructions and tips and is available in Arabic, Dari, English, French, Pashto, and Ukrainian.

Fly With Me has been developed to draw attention to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. In the UK over 12,000 Afghan refugees remain housed in unsuitable temporary accommodation, unable to cook for themselves and without the necessary support to find work or more permanent housing. Last time the Taliban were in power, they banned kite-flying along with many other forms of expression. Kites are symbols of freedom.

“During the 20th Century, the Afghan flag was changed 19 times - more than any other nation on earth. My country’s colours have been painted, wiped, repainted then wiped again 15 times since I was born. But we have always flown kites. The colours change but our skies are the same. Let's take to the skies and remember that Afghanistan’s flag has been wiped once again.” Elham Ehsas, actor (Kite Runner, Homeland) & Fly With Me Co-Creator

For more information about Good Chance Theatre and the full Fly With Me project, visit: https://www.goodchance.org.uk/flywithme

-ENDS-

For more information, images and to arrange interviews and press tickets please contact:

Louise Dingwall, Press and Marketing Officer, louisedingwall@citz.co.uk OR

Alison Lewis, Marketing and Communications Manager alison.lewis@citz.co.uk

LISTINGS

PUBLIC KITE-MAKING WORKSHOP

Saturday 20th August 2022

12pm – 1.30pm

Glasgow Green (What3Words: elite.spill.oasis)

Free, but must be booked in advance

Limited spaces available via citz.co.uk

Maximum 4 tickets per person (under 5s do not need to book a ticket but are welcome to attend)

FLY WITH ME - KITE-FLYING EVENT 

Saturday 20th August 2022

1.30pm - 3.30pm

Glasgow Green (What3Words: elite.spill.oasis)

Free and open to all

No booking required

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NOTES TO EDITOR

ABOUT FLY WITH ME

Fly With Me is a festival of kite-flying taking place in cities and towns across 6 different countries across Europe. It is an opportunity for people from everywhere to come together, to welcome and be welcomed - whether they are newly arrived Ukrainians and their host families, or people from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Eritrea, from the UK, from the global south, the global north - from every country across the world.

Fly With Me is partnering with Afghanaid and working with a range of arts and humanitarian partners who will lead events including Manchester International Festival, the Citizens Theatre Glasgow, Danish Hazara Foundation Copenhagen, National Literacy Trust Bradford, Future Foundry Dover, Creative Folkestone, Hardelot Théâtre Pas-de-Calais.

On the day, a mass kite-making workshop will take place. Participants from all the workshops and any other members of the public participating with their own kites will come together for a huge kite-flying celebration. This event will be co-curated and shaped by the partners and their communities, inviting people from across their town or city to take part and meet Afghan artisans, who will teach them how to fly the kites, and Afghan artists who will perform alongside local artists from the community.

Fly With Me has been developed with master Afghan kite-maker Sanjar Qiam, who hosts kite-making workshops across the country, Afghan actor, storyteller and director Elham Ehsas (The Kite Runner, Homeland) and Fly With Me ambassador, Afghan singer, Elaha Soroor. Good Chance has commissioned Forward Prize-winning poet Parwana Fayyaz to write a poem in honour of the event. Good Chance is grateful for vital funding support for Fly With Me from: Allianz Kulturstiftung, Arts Council England, Greenside Primary School, The Aurum Charitable Trust, the Limbourne Trust, the Pack Foundation, Georgia Oetker, Rasha and Hassan Elmasry.

CITIZENS THEATRE

The Citizens Theatre is Glasgow’s major producing theatre and one of the leading theatre companies in the UK. Over the last 75 years, it has built an international reputation for producing innovative shows on stage, alongside a highly regarded learning programme of participatory and education work. It is led by Artistic Director, Dominic Hill who is regarded as having “a talent for classical drama which is genuinely world class.” (Daily Telegraph) and Executive Director, Alex McGowan. The theatre presents bold new interpretations of classic texts that are accessible and relevant - and uniquely, where any member of the audience can attend a performance for as little as 50p.

The company’s beautiful Victorian home in the Gorbals is currently closed while it undergoes a major redevelopment. This will be the most comprehensive, integrated redevelopment of the building since it opened in 1878. The project will transform the experiences of audiences, participants and performers and secure the future of one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings and leading producing theatres.

GOOD CHANCE THEATRE

Good Chance works with artists from around the world, bringing communities together to tell bigger stories of hope and humanity. In a world increasingly divided, they believe it is time for theatre and art to rediscover its ancient power: to connect, unite and reclaim our individual and collective narratives. Their work consists of three core programmes. They build the Good Chance Dome as a temporary theatre, in the form of a large geodesic dome, in areas where expression is stifled and where refugee, migrant and local communities are struggling to integrate. They write, create and produce ground-breaking new work, providing a platform for previously untold stories of global and national relevance through Good Chance’s Productions such as multi-award-winning play The Jungle and pioneering international arts festival of welcome The Walk with 3.5metre high puppet of Syrian refugee girl Little Amal. Fly With Me is Good Chance’s major public production for 2022. Their third programme, the Good Chance Ensemble, collaborates with individual artists newly arrived in the UK to develop professionally and artistically and is expanding into a powerful network for artists working collectively towards creating positive change in society. www.goodchance.org.uk

ABOUT SANJAR QIAM

Sanjar Qiam is an Afghan-British craftsman and entrepreneur based in Brighton. Sanjar started his career in the media and cultural industry in Afghanistan and moved into making and building after immigrating to the UK. He was the lead kite artist at Good Chance’s Dome in a Day festival with Coventry City of Culture. He now runs Afghan kite-making workshops and makers’ groups inspired by the arts and crafts movement across the UK, and previously ran a toy shop in Brighton specialising in Afghan kites.

ABOUT ELHAM EHSAS

Born in Kabul, Elham Ehsas fled the Taliban and came to the UK when he was 10. He made his acting debut in the acclaimed international hit film The Kite Runner and has since appeared in films and TV include Brad Pitt’s War Machine, Netflix’s Young Wallander and Showtime’s Homeland. Elham was an actor in Good Chance’s multi-award-winning play The Jungle in London’s West End and at St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. Elham’s debut short film, Our Kind of Love, was BAFTA longlisted in 2019, screened at film festivals across the world, and viewed 3 million times on YouTube. His latest short film Your Hand Found Mine, with BFI x BAFTA Crew, premiered at the House of Lords and won Best Drama at Berlin Flash Festival.

Fly With Me events:

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