Fusion events will be paused until 2024 while we re-explore the vision and process for these events. Thanks for journeying with us!
Fusion is an intercultural creative arts & story hub with a Christian ethos. We bring together people from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds and age groups, exploring stories of Jesus and intercultural narratives from marginalised communities through creative arts. We believe that it is possible to instigate dynamic and profound change in our lives, mindsets and communities through making space for these interactions, giving voice to these stories and creative expressions. In Fusion sessions we think together around a theme or a narrative, and each express our interpretations, questions and passion in relation to that theme or story through an art form taught by a skilled arts facilitator - and we make time for intentional listening to one another as we reflect together on what has been created.
SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS OF SOME PAST FUSION EVENTS!
Childhood Sexual Abuse and Personal Identity - with Khush Kali and Marie Lefebvre
Expert facilitators from Quetzal delivered an fantastic reflective and creative session with Leicester-based artist Khush Kali. Quetzal project facilitator Dr Marie Lefebvre shared about the work of Quetzal with survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and we reflected together on our own identities and unravelling our trauma, with a powerful creative response time.
Dr Marie Lefebvre, development officer, and project facilitator at Quetzal. Marie’s background is in Design for Sustainability and Asset-Based Community Development. Marie joined Quetzal in 2019, delivering Quetzal Breaking the Silence, a project that aimed to measure the effectiveness of a community-based approach to raise awareness about the trauma of childhood sexual abuse in South Asian Communities, and is experienced in delivering awareness-raising sessions about the impacts of abuse on survivors to a wider audience.
Khush Kali is a Leicester-based artist. Working across collage, drawing, textiles, digital media, sculpture, video, and text, Khush uses the remixing of patterns, images, rituals, and processes to explore identity, cultural heritage, personal history, and the everyday experience of the urban environment. She is committed to inclusive and accessible art-making for all and facilitates art workshops for children, young people, elders, people with mental health needs, and people who are incarcerated. Khush has been working with Quetzal to deliver the Queen and I project, celebrating the talents of survivors, the Queen’s Jubilee, and honoring late Charity patron Sue Townsend.
Modern Slavery and creative response - with Hope for Justice.
The Hope For Justice ambassadors put together an art and awareness raising workshop, including reflective activities, a time to learn more about Hope For Justice, how to spot signs of modern slavery, and some powerful creative response time. Hope For Justice is an anti-slavery charity working towards ending modern slavery and safeguarding vulnerable people. The facilitators for this event are a student body supporting the work of Hope For Justice by raising awareness in their academic setting and community sectors. They have delivered various workshops around spotting the signs, in addition to organizing a modern slavery awareness exhibition in October 2021.
Barbie is a PhD Researcher at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) and the President of the NTU Hope For Justice Society (Anti-slavery Group). Barbie has a background in child safeguarding and is a member of several anti-slavery research boards, with several years working in the field. Barbie has worked with the Hope For Justice Charity since 2016 and is experienced in delivering training around ‘modern-slavery awareness and spotting the signs’ to a wider audience.
Beth is a Masters' student studying LLM Human Rights and Justice at Nottingham Trent University. Beth is also the Secretary of the NTU Hope for Justice Society (Anti-Slavery Group) and has been instrumental in the growth of the society and the running of the events. Some of Beth's other work includes volunteering on a campaign against the Nationality and Borders Bill that aimed to raise awareness of how the government's proposed changes in the law would be harmful for victims of modern slavery.
Nora is a psychology with criminology student at Nottingham Trent University. Nora studied fine art for four years, she is also experienced in writing, directing plays, playing the piano and painting. Nora is the wellbeing officer for the NTU Hope For Justice society (anti-slavery group) and due to start her role as Vice-President.
Simone is a psychology student at Nottingham Trent University. Simone is also the Well-being Officer at the NTU Hope For Justice Society (Anti-Slavery Group), where her role has been key to ensure their events run ethically and effectively to raise awareness of the issues of slavery. Simone is experienced in creative writing and has a background in theatre and music.
Dancing for the Dream and Dancing to Heal - with Shobha Gosa
What many people do not know is that there is a niche form of psychotherapy that uses movement, the core component of dance, to heal and integrate the mind, body and soul. It is a creative arts therapy that uses movement and oftentimes verbal processing to observe, assess and intervene in a person’s overall health. The only requirements for dance/movement are a heartbeat, breath and a willingness to explore the self. In this session we will incorporate breathing exercises, mindfulness, stretching and, yes, dance, music and movement.
About the facilitator
Shobha Gosa grew up in Southern India where classical dance originated to express devotion to God as a devotee. As a child she started learning one of the classical forms (Kuchipudi) and later turned her dance passion towards self-awareness, healing and exploring one-self to handle abuse, trauma and beauty in God’s creation. She is a Christian by her faith and passionate to empower girls and women around her through music and dance/movement. Read more about Shobha Gosa here.
Inclusion, Exclusion, Isolation, Belonging - with Chris Samuel
Inclusion, Exclusion, Isolation, Belonging – these realities impact each and every one of us in a wide variety of different ways. Dynamics of inclusion/exclusion are present wherever we go, impacting massively on the way we relate to the people, organisations and spaces around us, and even on our personal dignity and the way we see ourselves. Am I welcome here? Am I safe? Am I included? Am I able to access the space? Do I belong? How do they see me? These questions – often conscious, though sometimes unconscious – will be familiar to all of us.
Chris Samuel is an expert in highlighting, expressing, and supporting people to give light to some of the signs and symbols of these realities. We see these things reflected in the detail and undertones of all sorts of everyday places and situations, if only we will take time to stop and notice. This Fusion session is an insight into this noticing, and expressing – through the art of redaction. Chris leads us in learning how to take a redaction approach to photos, documents, paperwork, emails and articles, creating imagery and/or poetry that speaks to these realities and gives voice to something of our experience.
About the facilitator
Christopher Samuel is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in identity and disability politics, often echoing the many facets of his own lived experience. Seeking to interrogate his personal understanding of identity as a disabled person impacted by inequality and marginalisation, Christopher responds with urgency, humour, and poetic subversiveness within his work. This approach makes his work accessible to a wider audience, allowing others to identify and relate to a wider spectrum of human experience. You can found out more about his work and exhibitions at www.christophersamuel.co.uk
Intercultural Creative Song Writing - Dâmares Gomes
Try to imagine a world with no music - no first dances at weddings, no stereo or iPod to accompany your commute to work, no music partnering the movie, no coffee shop serenades, and definitely no singing. If it seems impossible to imagine that is because we have never, in the documented history of humanity, been without music. Music has long been an effective way to communicate to the masses, and lyrics have played a massive role in delivering this communication.
If you trace the music of the marginalized during periods of upheaval, you will find references over and over to the social issues that plague disenfranchised communities. The music of the marginalized sings tales of a common thread: brutalization and resilience on a path to joy and equality. Throughout history, people have often written songs as a way of conveying what’s happening in the society around them and as a way of protesting for justice. In this session, we’ll be exploring song writing, looking at the power of songs written by people on the ‘margins’ of society, and exploring how we might each instigate positive change through the medium of collective song writing.
About the facilitator
Born in Brazil, raised in Portugal, Dâmares Gomes joined a Christian band at the age of 13. Since then she has had the opportunity to travel internationally as a bass player. It didn’t take long for her to start writing her own songs. She was deeply inspired by artists like Brooke Fraser and Jon Foreman.
In 2018, an opportunity came for her to release her first EP with EIKON to let the world hear what she had to say. She writes about her prayers, her thoughts and whatever God is doing in each season of her life. Over the years she has also written for other artists, recorded for projects and mentored young creatives who want to express themselves through the gifts God has given them. Dâmares is also the producer behind her new singles and she loves the whole process of making the song come to life. After her first EP in 2018 with EIKON, Dâmares Gomes is back releasing new singles with a new vibe that expresses her identity as a songwriter and producer. She co-leads a band named Port Duo with her brother Pedro Neto. Together, Pedro and Dâmares form a duo that creates sounds and textures, and combines acoustic and electronic sounds in creative fun ways.
You can connect with Damares on Instagram - @damaresgs
You can listen to her songs on Spotify - https://open.spotify.com/artist/5vH1WRgVmc2mwF0iXgOibC
Zine Creation - Mandeep Dhadialla
A zine is a basic instant book made from one sheet of paper. It is a simple and effective way of spreading a message using words and visual art including collage textures. We'll each make our own zines from folded A4 paper, creating a parable message using simple drawing and writing materials, with designs inspired by the African kanga fabrics of proverbs. The zine style we will be using is also known as a ‘beak’ book because of the way the cut in the paper moves when bringing the book together.
Zines are simple and easy to make but have potential to contain layers of stories with deep meaning and truth. After the session, why not self publish your zine by photocopying it and circulate amongst friends and family. Don’t stop there - you can keep going and begin your very own mini-zine library filled with stories, art and more!
About the Facilitator:
Mandeep Dhadialla is an artist printmaker producing original botanical relief prints, creating linocuts and woodcuts as well as handprinted and hand-bound books, with 17 years’ experience of teaching with museums and arts organisations. Taking lead from nature as a muse whether immersed in the equatorial landscape of her childhood home of Kenya or in the depths of the great British Leicestershire countryside where she currently resides, Mandeep’s work can be found on her website and social media channels - thelaughingcactus.com.