National Theatre of Scotland will Fly The Flag for Human Rights in Glasgow as part of UK wide engagement project

Launch of National Theatre of Scotland’s Neighbourhood Project with Fly The Flag performance created with the pupils from St Teresa’s Primary School in Glasgow.

Choreographer and facilitator Saffy Setohy, working with dance artist Joanna Young has been creating a new performance celebrating the art of protest with P5 & P6 pupils from St Teresa’s Primary School in North Glasgow. They have been running weekly creative workshops in the school as part of Fly The Flag, a unique annual nationwide celebration of human rights. The workshops will culminate in a special performance for the local community on 17 June at the Cowlairs Labyrinth in North Glasgow.

Background

Since 2020, artists Saffy Setohy and Margaret Kerr have been working with the children and parents of St Teresa’s Primary School exploring their rights to “safe clean routes to school” as part of Sharing Cowlairs – a collaborative arts, ecology and community project supported by the Glasgow Life Artist in Residence programme. The school is sited next to a large area of land which has lain “derelict” for thirty years and which the children pass through every day. Heavy fly tipping and antisocial activity is present on the land. However, the children and many other local people care about the place, are occupying it in diverse ways and want to have a say in its future regeneration.

The project included artistic activities that support children’s learning about sustainability, their local environment, and active citizenship. Through collaboration with the wider community and partner organisations, an old brick structure (a piece of Cowlairs’ history as an important railway junction), has been transformed into a labyrinth and garden. A place for rest, reflection, and play, by the community, for the community.

Building on this existing relationship and as a continuation of the artistic process, National Theatre of Scotland’s Fly The Flag performance celebrates this creative work, as well as the children’s right to occupy the land and share it with other living species. It is a creative protest, a clarion call, to show that caring for our planet starts at home.

The project launches the National Theatre of Scotland’s new Neighbourhood Project, which will creatively focus on building relationships and creating work with communities close to the National Theatre of Scotland’s building, Rockvilla, in North Glasgow.

ABOUT FLY THE FLAG

A collaboration between arts organisations and human rights charities, Fly The Flag celebrates and reminds us of the human rights we all share, in particular, raising awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) amongst young people and shining a light where human rights are violated. To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2019, Fly The Flag asked artist Ai Weiwei to create a flag to celebrate universal human rights.  Every year since then, on Human Rights Day – 10th December – Fly The Flag highlights one article of the UDHR inviting everyone to fly the flag for human rights.

This year Fly The Flag is highlighting Article 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the right to protest and has invited young people across the four nations of the UK to co-create work with leading theatre artists and associates around this theme.

Fly The Flag is co-produced by Fuel, the National Theatre, the National Theatre of Scotland, National Theatre Wales, and The Mac. The lead artist for the UK-wide project is Jenny Sealey, Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre.

The presentation in Glasgow, forms part of Fly The Flags UK wide engagement project, bringing young people together locally to celebrate and remember that human rights are for everyone, every day.

The Neighbourhood Project

Fly The Flag marks the first in a series of artistic residencies and projects working alongside communities close to the National Theatre of Scotland’s facility, Rockvilla, in the North of Glasgow. Since settling in the area, the Company has developed and been involved in several community facing projects and events involving specific groups, artists and local audiences including participation in the annual Canal festival, Glasgow Doors Open Day, Submarine Time Machine and Little Amal. The Neighbourhood Project offers opportunities for collaboration and partnerships and for National Theatre of Scotland to develop relationships in and around the area.

There will be a newsletter for local groups and individuals to sign up to, to find out more about the project.

Paul Fitzpatrick, Director of Creative Engagement, says:

“What does it mean to be a good neighbour?

We are interested in what it means for the local community in North Glasgow to have a National company located on their doorstep, and what that means to us at the National Theatre of Scotland. The first part of the project was spending time meeting with our neighbours in the local community to find out about them and what they do.

We are excited now to create a series of short artistic projects in and with the community and delighted that our friends at St Teresa’s Primary School will be “flying the flag” first for their neighbourhood at the Cowlairs labyrinth.

Each project will let us learn more about where we are based, in a unique way, and will inform how National Theatre of Scotland artists might work most creatively and impactfully with our neighbours”

Saffy Setohy, National Theatre of Scotland Associate Artist, says:

“I am delighted to be working on Fly the Flag this year. The Right to Protest and Assembly feels crucial in times of deep division and inequality. Art is our protest, and I’m excited to amplify the children’s ideas and voices.”

Fly The Flag , 17 June 2022, Cowlairs, North Glasgow

Created by National Theatre of Scotland Associate Artist: Saffy Setohy; Assistant Dance Facilitator: Joanna Young; Visual Artist: Margaret Kerr and Sound Designer: Jamie Wardrop

Saffy Setohy is a Glasgow-based dance artist working across and between choreography, performance, participatory work, facilitation, and movement direction. Interdisciplinary collaboration is at the heart of her work. A deep interest in people, place and ecological practice threads through all of her activities. She has made various collaborative, co-created and participatory installations, outdoor, sited, stage and screen works for rural and urban contexts, presented across the UK and internationally. Projects have been commissioned by organisations including South East Dance, Tramway, Science Gallery London, UZ Arts, The Touring Network, CCN Le Havre, Dansefestival Barents. In recent years Saffy has been the Glasgow Life Artist in Residence for canal ward in North Glasgow. Through this she has facilitated community projects with women and children exploring the regeneration of the canal, and creatively responding to ‘derelict’ land, transforming a crumbling brick structure into a community labyrinth and garden.

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