A citizens’ assembly. A series of first speeches from those often unheard. Personal visions for our collective future.
There is no way to start approaching answers to anything, without listening. When someone tells you their story there is humanity and power in the telling. But it empowers the listener too. How often have we found things in common with people who don’t sound like us? How often have we ended up solving something because another person made us look at the problem differently?
Listening is political; whom we choose to listen to, and under what circumstances, are powerful choices that determine culture and policy at every level. We can create a lot of good, or seed problems, based on the voices we choose or refuse to hear.
In 2020 Salisbury celebrated its 800th anniversary: 800 years since the realisation of a vision to move the city from a windy hilltop to lower, more hospitable land, starting with the laying of the foundation stone of Salisbury Cathedral. It is in this iconic venue that CONGRESS will share new, diverse visions for the city and for how to move forward together purposefully and positively.
This citizens’ assembly connects the personal with the political. Community citizen Speakers are matched with professional Wordsmiths. Together, they collaborate to write and deliver ‘first political speeches’; personal visions for our collective future. Taking the form of a ritualised performance, intersected with community and cultural dance, this project unashamedly encourages citizens to agitate for change and transformation.
Concept and Direction: Tristan Meecham and Bec Reid.
Producer and Stage Management: Anna Pidgeon
Composer, Lighting and Sound Design: Nick Roux
Lighting Designer: Bosco Shaw
Co-Curator and Take Part Director: Louise Dancy
Take Part Team: Gjenya Cambray, Francesca Myles, Georgia Norbury, Clare Threadgold and Elise Williamson
Production Manager: Sarah Bath
Wiltshire Creative Producer: Fiona Curtis
Marketing Consultant: Lyndsey Harvey at Landon Marketing
Set Construction and Painting: Tim Reed, Daniel Gent and Rod Holt
Senior Technician (Sound and Video): Michael Scott
Deputy Technical Manager: Dave Marsh
British Sign Language Interpreter: Trianna
Wordsmiths: Dr. Olu Taiwo, Safiya Kamaria Kinshasa, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, Veronica Dewan, Jayne Woodhouse, Hannah Treadaway, Jeremy Davies, Roger Monk and Russ Tunney.
Citizen Speakers: Clare Christopher, Johannes Oghoro, Ruslan Kuvanyshev, Monwara Ali, Jack Cunningham, Jess Moore, Patience and Neal Dreyer and Andrew Powlesland.
Movers: Panthera Dance Company, Dance SIX-0, Kateryna Barvitska-Kuvanysheva, Mrs Joshna Prasanth and Salisbury Malayalee Association and Stage 65 Youth Theatre.