Featuring seven artists from seven continental time zones, Ripples reaches out to people across the world asking the question ‘What matters to you?’

Intercultural Roots Launch New Response Project RIPPLES on World Mental Health Day

This weekend, International Roots launched their new initiative Ripples to create a global collage of hopes, challenges and the things that matter to people the most. The project aims to amplify diverse voices across the seven continental time zones by creating a platform for artistic responses to the simple provocation: ‘What matters to you?’. International Roots have commissioned seven initiating artists from seven different continental time zones, and this weekend they invited the first artistic responses at sunrise on World Mental Health Day (10th October). These seven artists started a conversation by sharing their interpretation of the theme, and the public from around the world are invited to join their next moment on 24th October which will be a noon, whatever time zone you’re in.

People are encouraged to respond in a creative medium whether it is through a one-minute video, an image or a written piece. The responses will form a global picture of the challenges we as individuals and as a collective have faced during COVID- 19. This project takes a deep dive into the humanity behind the pandemic and reminds us although we are “in the same storm we are in different boats”.

The seven initiating artists are: choreographer Abigail Sena Atsugah from Africa (Ghana); Executive & Artistic Director of Tau Dance Theatre (TAU) Peter Rockford Espiritu a native Hawaiian from Oceania (O’ahu, Hawai’i); Takumã Kuikuro, who is internationally renowned for his films and belongs to the ethnicity of Kuikuro in the Xingu Reserve Park of South America (Brazil); Olive Nieto performer and professor from Asia (Philippines); Savita Rani from Asia (India) who recently completed her Ph.D exploring ‘A Study on Devised Solo Theatre in India’; Europe (Berlin) based dancer Ahmed Soura; and Lizzy Tan from North America (USA) who is current solo performance centres on the philosophy of image and the representation of the female performing body.

To accompany, Intercultural Roots will be hosting two Zoom sessions on 3rd and 10th November to further converse and also sensitively discuss any issues raised. The sessions will be lead by mental health expert Dr Ian Kenvyn.

Steering Group Member Dr Elizabeth de Roza (Singapore) said “Ripples seeks to connect people and asks a fundamental question ‘What matters to you?’ In times like this with COVID-19 , where in some countries, people are separated from their families and some are isolated – it is important for us to pause and reflect and share our sentiments – so Ripples reaches out and connects people – bringing communities together so that we don’t feel so isolated & alone.”

Steering Group Member Shabari Rao said “The things that I think make this project exciting is the diversity of the artists, the possibility of a global conversation with a focus on local voices.”

Intercultural Roots Executive Director Dr Alex Boyd said “We’re grateful to all those who have cocreated Ripples and the support it is gaining all over the world. It offers a chance to deeply listen and learn from one another, the start of a conversation that will hopefully bring us closer to address some of the anxieties and issues we face today such as inequality, injustice and the climate crisis – and celebrating those things that bring us joy and love in our lives.”

In addition, Intercultural Roots continue to run their online classes. Starting on 16th March as an emergency response to Covid-19, Intercultural Roots have been offering online classes to help people cope physically and mentally with the incredible lifestyle shift that the pandemic has forced upon everyone. These classes draw on techniques including Traditional Chinese Medicine, breath and energy work, movement and dance. The classes range from £3 to £6, or are free for those who cannot afford them thanks to funding from UK Government / National Lottery emergency coronavirus funds.

The weekly classes include NIA Dance taught by Artistic Director Dr Andrea Maciel. NIA, which could be described as a middle ground between yoga and Zumba, providing aerobic conditioning, body toning, and strength building by using martial art, yoga and dance.

Executive director Dr Alex Boyd will be teaching ‘Daoyin’ Breathwork, a practice that strengthens the muscles we breathe with and increases vitality. Alex and Andrea will also be teaching Qigong Dance together, a collaboration which draws from Taoism and Laban technique.

Other classes include A Traditional Chinese Medicine Approach to Boosting the Immune system, run by renowned teacher Dr Alex Feng, a California based practitioner who was born in Guangzhou. As well as TCM, his extensive practice includes Taoism and a black belt in Judo and Jujitsu.

Intercultural Roots is a partnership of two UK registered charities that operate worldwide: Intercultural Roots for Public Health and Intercultural Roots for Traditional Embodied Arts . Their aims are:

For the public benefit, to promote community participation in healthy recreation, advancing education in the benefits of healthy education and promoting best practice in delivery

To advance the education of the public on the subject of traditional and indigenous embodied arts and to promote research for the public benefit in all aspects of that subject and to publish the useful results

To advance the cultural heritage of traditional and indigenous embodied arts to benefit peoples throughout the world through research, preservation, sustainment and dissemination

To relieve hardship in indigenous communities worldwide, either generally or individually, including through the provision of grants, goods or services.

To see Ripples, CLICK HERE!

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