TherAPutix: The Rap Therapists

Raggamama, Barnicle and Deville with Caxton Youth in facilitation mode: Rap-action!

DeVille (Aka Alex De Ville), Hannah Raggamama (AKA Hannah Matthews) and Barnacle (AKA Barney Seignior)

Alex Deville and ‘Barnacle’ (AKA Barney Seignior) met at the Magic Gardens in 2018. Performing at open mic slots for- ‘Sing For your Supper’. Together with Hannah Raggamama (AKA Hannah Matthews), ‘TheRAPutix‘ collaborated to devise a foundational concept- grounded within Rap Therapy. Entailing a mix of hip-hop, self-actualisation and enquiry we find our project wrapped up in confidence building, interpersonal animations and group cypher sessions.

Working across London, Alex’s skills as a psychotherapeutic bereavement counsellor ensured ‘Barnacle’s’ beat-boxing, rhythmic flow assisted our mutually interconnected devotion to Spoken Word and Hip-Hop. In the meantime, we cemented this concept further, via collaboration with ‘Creative Voices Mind’ in 2019. Using mental health as a key to unlocking interpersonal creativity, inspiration was gained which developed our individualised practices. Spoken Word encompassed by community development and current affairs were derived from “ongoing intersectional systemic oppressions” (Freire .P).

Many participants claimed the workshop helped “boost their confidence”, “Allowed them to vent stuff that is usually stigmatised and kept in our heads” and “release emotions”. The space felt safe enough to feel private, yet the atmosphere allowed a variety of participants to vibe off community encouragement. There were even students who attended ‘City Lit’ University, who engaged in the documentation process and participated in the #WeLoveWoodGreen project themselves.

Where, what, who?

This applied form of Spoken Word had been encompassed by community development and current affairs, derived from “ongoing intersectional systemic oppressions” (Freire . P) and learning gained in practice.

#WeLoveWoodGreen 2020 facilitated their first ever Rap Therapy workshop at the Goodness Brewing Co. Working with participants of all ages, heritage, and skill sets; they managed to generate a series of live cypher performances. Assisted by intergenerational and multi-talented individuals who opted to take part in the workshop.

Barnacle continues to work as a gardener in a crematorium. He has developed progressive Spoken-word and beat boxing techniques for over ten years, allowing personal introspection on death and life to merge dualistically as one. Nature and political action inspires his ability to reconnect with life forces around him. As a rapper- he has utilised the physical distancing period to hone in on recording his own bars and devise ideas for/ with ‘The Cat Burglar’ in his spare time.

‘DeVille’ continues to work as a psychotherapist and has since come face-to-face (through ‘Zoom’), with new challenges working as a bereavement counsellor, in light of the current Public Health Crises. All-encompassing issues arising from the use of mainstream technological sharing platforms, ultimately ensured he continues contextualising and understanding his personal experiences. Through his developing spell binding 16-bar cyphers and spoken word hip-hop, his bars are a mash up of spoken word proclamations and introspection from within our current existential dystopias.

‘Raggamama’s practice of applied theatre has been on going since the age of 16 when she started a course at ‘The BRIT School’. She began her Spoken Word and poetic journey via the dark abyss and social injustices received through being hosted within institutionalised care. The development and liberation gained when writing and performing live, travelling, spending time in hospitals, in education, in theatre ensured she engaged in releasing oppressions gained through her personal experiences of social injustice. This is what drives her to continue working with/for the release of systemic oppression- regardless of who critiques on stigma.

Click here to readwatch and hear more- So much more to come soon!

“The oppressor, who is himself dehumanized because he dehumanizes others, tries to hang onto his power and dehumanizing practices.” (Friere. P 2009:32)

ONGOING CONTENT:

By Barnacle in 2020

Until we meet again, both Hannah, Barney and Alex gave been featured in a Magazine! If you liked their work and wanted to hear/see more then check this out:

Click here to find out more: https://www.blurb.co.uk/bookstore/invited/8878622/b1692193b7bd1857f04f271bfa19e544a1a6e241

PROBLEMS=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked A&B ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below we present their suggestions, hopes and visions, moving forward into the new year and beyond:

  • Central space for creatives to come together to find new partners and networks
  • In a process of changing over platforms and being able to have more agency over our own platforms
  • Our own syndicates for ownership over art
  • Free interactions which we own

Bios and Bibliography

The Goodness Brewing Co: Alex Evans

The Goodness is a brewery, bar & venue based in Wood Green, North London. Opening its doors to the public in the summer of 2019, The Goodness has held a strong community driven presence within the area. Formed by locals, the companies ethos has striven to produce high quality and sessional beers, to provide a family friendly space that plays host to live music, exhibitions and creativity. Along side this it’s been important to ensure we have regular opening hours for locals to party and relax. Before the public health crisis, The Goodness had hosted many events; including a secret sold out Four Tet concert, and multi-genre gig nights; covering Hip-hop, Punk, Jazz, Reggae, Pop, Ska and so on. The brewers have a community led project named “Wood Green Hopping” which allows anyone to bring locally grown hops to the site and to brew, leading to a beer that actually makes it way to pubs around the country! The Goodness hosted a fantastic charity led & local trader event “#WeLoveWoodGreen”, which showcased many talented performances, workshops and goods. Delivered and provided by the local people, for the local people. When the pandemic ends, we endeavour to carry on supporting the creative arts community and will continue to share our delicious craft beer and home made pizzas with everyone as we have been doing throughout the lockdown- through delivery & takeaway. Cheers to a positive future! Please check out The Goodness Brewery’s ‘Crowdfunder’ campaign, which will hopefully earn its community a canning machine! This will allow us to ethically produce and distribute fresh quality beer quickly and easily to it’s customers.

Written by Alex Evans

As mentioned by Alex in the first series of our ‘WeLoveCollective’ podcasts- We had been secretly working on developing a series of music video parodies. Team solidarity, boosting staff moral and bringing collective joy to peers, communities and colleagues had been crucial in maintaining the Good Vibes at The Goodness. Even when doors were closed for business they still delivered substantial entertainment and nourishments online.

Enjoy our monthly light-hearted, musical cover band parodies below as a recap of the first part of this year (2021):

MARCH: Our most recent Video- HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY! “Some people say I look like my Dad…” What a 90’s flash back!
FEBRUARY: Valentines Shmalentines- Why Not fall in love with a home made locally brewed beer, Crowdfunded canning machine or Pizza and save yourself some drama this year!?
JANUARY: Check out the Goodness Brewery’s (hilarious) New Years Music Video: 2021 here we come!
DECEMBER: Their First Ever Music Video! A Very Merry Christmas Special…

PROBLEM=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked Alex ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below were his suggestions, hopes and visions moving forward into the new year:

-Collaborate and reinvigorate art and music scenes from within the Goodness Brewing co. network
-Bring solidarity through raising morale
-People react to art in different ways so we dream of a live atmosphere and dancing- to try and recreate that experience of collective joy without having to be there

Bio’s and Bibliography:

Angolerios Do Mar London & Pumpkin Jigsaw

Xi-Mali (Pumpkin Jigsaw) On drums with ‘Pinguim’ (Angolerios Dol Mar) in Crab 😀

The connection

Over the physical distancing period, Xi Mali and Pinguim ensured a safe summer link up was able to happen in Finsbury park. After sharing experiences at the We Love Wood Green event, their artforms tied beautifully together.- Historically, Samba and Capoeira formed through related socio-cultural periods of oppression, these artforms also aim to free people- for similar reasons and in similar ways…

Leo Franelli AKA Pinguim

Leonardo is his first name, however- in capoeira Leo is known as Pinguim! He’s Italian but has been living in the UK since 2005. He found capoeira in 2006 in Exeter, where he started training with Angoleiros do Mar. There, he met his master (teacher) and great friend Marcelo Angola. From 2009 Pinguim, began helping Marcelo teach classes.

From 2010 Pinguim then began teaching his own group in Oxford and London. He has since; been running classes at events and free standing workshops- both in UK and Europe. In 2019 he took part to the ‘WeLoveWoodGreen’ project, bringing capoeira music and movements in a three part, movement, sound and history of capoeira workshop at the Goodness brewery.
Here Leo (aka Pinguim) met Xi-Mali, leader of the samba band Pumpkin Jigsaw, together with two other brilliant Samba Dancers, they launched a project called ‘Amigos do Verão’. It aims to bring Capoeira and Samba to outdoor or unconventional spaces, with workshops and performances open for all ages and abilities.
The main objective of Pinguims’ work with Capoeira, is to bring people together, make friends and ultimately create a strong community of creative people.

Warming up in Finsbury Park

Written by Leo Franelli

Xi-Mali

Carnival uses a notion of shared lived experience towards a positive end goal. What happens when instead of frustration, you apply a combination of: music, dance, beauty, friends, community? There is a personal sense of new appreciation toward our environments and an exhilarating experience of joy. While there are some people who find the number of sensations overwhelming, many who experience carnival become hooked. This is not just from experiencing it themselves but by feeling that this collective sharing should be had with everyone allowing all to feel artistic magic.

aNOLERIOS dO Mar Collaborate with Pumpkin Jigsaw

We made our way to weekly rehearsals outside. Much to the excitement of the children and families habituating around Finsbury Park.
We managed one parade this year for the Kingswood Estate, it was great to see people on the parade route again, with families appearing from houses to peer ecstatically through windows. We teamed up twice with samba and Carnival group ‘Pumpkin Jigsaw’, collaborating with dancers Mel Adams and Naira. This ensured we built a fun day of Brazilian themed events called ‘Amigos Do Verão’.

Goodness Brewery 2020

Impact of 2020….

The uncertainty generated by last year has made it incredibly difficult to plan events. To bring this sense of magic in the way we envisage has become ever-more complexed. It is important to consider and engage with shared artistic experiences in any safe capacity. Collectivity reminds us of the attainable sense of joy and community, more intensely than ever before.

2020 has taken a toll on everyone. ‘Pumpkin Jigsaw’ attempted to survive by maintaining their delivery of samba inspired “magic”. Through colour, sound and localised collaboration, at the same time as negotiating movements within the public health crisis. The first ‘lockdown’ favoured us with two new projects.

Firstly, Homebeats, a four-part video series aimed at exploring and having carnival fun at home alone or with other people. I believe when you are home alone it is hard to find ways to see objects and day to day life in another light. With help provided by ‘Sound Connections’ we formed a video series- aimed at delivering carnival magic without requiring things people did not already own. By asking participants “How could you bring carnival magic into your home and bring experiences of carnival through household object?” & “Who is your community when you’re indoors?” ‘Pumpkin Jigsaws’ work as a band, still desires to deliver an album, in the mean-time, our evenings are spent learning musical skills, making music on our computers at home and developing individual skills.

Finsbury Park Link up 2021

Although it is a struggle to know whether music, performance arts and touring will survive in the same capacity from the knockout of both Covid-19 and new Brexit regulations. It is also important to consider and engage with shared artistic experiences in any safe capacity. Collectivity reminds us of the attainable sense of joy and community, more intensely than ever before.


Written by Xi-Mali

pROBLEM=SOLUTIONS

In the WLWG Feature we asked Pinguim ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below were his suggestions, hopes and visions moving forward into the new year:

  • Find a collectively invested space to work and provide workshops to our communities
  • Classes still going so we can keep still going!

Bios and Bibliography:

  • Pumpkin Jigsaw (2021) https://pumpkinjigsaw.com/
    Contact Xi-Mali via the ‘Contact us :] ‘ section in our menu
  • Contact Pinguim here (2021) ‘Angolerios Dol Mar London’ https://www.facebook.com/LondonADM/
    Boothby J. (et al.) (2014) “Shared Experiences Are Amplified in Psychological Science” 14, Vol. 25 (12) 2209–2216. Sage.

The Art Factory- Ben Farleigh

Screen Print: Of Ben, By Ben

Welcome to Art Factory. We believe in creativity for everyone, running a range of exciting creative parties and workshops including spray-painting and T-shirt Graffiti. Our super-fun events are always memorable, inspiring dynamic learning in a safe environment.

Ben has over 20 years’ experience working with youth and is an active artist, generating original works, murals and commissions. Trained in Product and Furniture design, Ben established Streetwear brand ‘Yes No Maybe’ in 2008, and started running graffiti workshops across North London soon after.

Even if you have never picked up a spray can or paint pen before, we will help you understand how to get great results. We have been working with young people for over 20 years, guiding you towards great results. Art Factory parties are the perfect place to help unlock inhibitions and offer incredible hands-on experiences to be remembered.

Art Factory create bespoke murals and commissioned pieces of wall art for clients – indoor and out – we would love to discuss your requirements. We have Painted gardens, offices, bedrooms, kitchens, lounges – even the littlest room in the house!  Let’s talk – we can create something unique for you.

Art Factory Graffiti Parties use professional materials, tried and tested techniques and a huge collection of stencils.  Ben ensures painting and working with younger participants provides that on every level the event is fun, memorable and safe.

Written By Ben Farleigh

Artivism for all!

Problem=Solution

In the WLWG Feature we asked Ben ‘What would their ideal outcome be for community artists in light of the public health crisis impact on the arts?’. Below we present his suggestions, hopes and visions, moving forward into the new year and beyond:

-Full reopening
-I cant imagine myself in a packed festival tent but we’ll have too adapt to the new reality
-We need to be together again so the show can go on- the vaccine might be able to help rebuild creative community practice

Follow Ben on YouTube for amazing craft ideas! (Link can be found below)

Bios and Bibliography