Nottingham Arts Mela 2020

This year's Mela festival, the UK's oldest, is back but this time in the digital realm.

From 27 July to 23 August, Nottingham Arts Mela will present a daily creative provocation, featuring on our new festival digital platforms. There will be a full back to back weekend launching Friday 21 August delivering through to Sunday 23 August.

Online cooking, films featuring South Asian diaspora world wide, music, dance, debates, poetry and spoken word, family art workshops, murals, archives activated, morning raags and yoga... a full flavour of culture responding to these unprecedented times. The premise this year is Climate, Changed... where Mela seeks a new braver truth to save our planet, its life and nature.

What's On: Wednesday 5 August

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12pm Midday Message: Faiza Butt

The Politics of Gender/Power: Faiza's exploration and reflection upon issues of gender, culture and the structures of power throughout society, using the human face and form to narrate her stories.

7pm Podcast Provocations: Tasawar Bashir

This series of podcasts sees Tasawar Bashir seek the stories, characters and languages of residents of Sparkhill, Birmingham, in an attempt to capture the diverse, complex Kashmiri diaspora community.

7.15pm Podcast Provocations: Nadia Whittome MP

A Radical New – Part 1. Nadia Whittome will be in conversation with Skinder Hundal, Director of New Art Exchange, to explore some of the key and critical challenges and opportunities facing society. As a radical woman of colour the conversation will deconstruct contexts and realities for a progressive and inclusive futurism. We face complex disparities in these unprecedented times to shape new ways of being, so join us and let's explore the role of politics, art and culture in making radical change.

Discover the full festival line-up here


As the imagination of the world ignites new ways of sharing, the need to understand and find an acceptance within and between our communities, a pathway to collaboration towards a common goal is the only way to effect real change. A world created on the basis of unhindered imagination and profound empathy, and a festival which seeks to unlock those narratives and voices which have remained on the margins for too long.

Climate, Changed is the premise which propels our festival this year. As the world changes and we are directed towards distanced and digital interaction, this year, our traditionally live festival will be experienced as never before. For it is not only day to day interaction which has been challenged, but this unprecedented global change means our environmental, social, artistic and political climates have been unimaginably altered.

The festival provokes a deeper reflection, considering and reconsidering the altered landscape we are living through. We explore change in arts practice, political thought, the need for a seismic refocusing of our behaviours with regard to the environment, and how we reframe social interaction in the foreseeable future. We probe into the practices and histories of our ancestors and those living on the peripheries to learn and unlearn the behaviours that have led to our current crisis.

What is justice? What is equality? To whom do we look for guidance, direction, and to feel safe? It is in our hands – It is time for a new, braver truth.

Partners & Supporters:

Aakash Odedra Company, BBC Radio Nottingham, Himmah, New Art Exchange, Nottingham Asian Arts Council, Nottingham BID, Nottingham Creative Quarter, Nottingham City Council, Nottingham Strategic Cultural Partnership, One Nottingham, UNESCO City of Literature

Funded by:

Arts Council England: Emergency Response Fund


New Art Exchange
39-41 Gregory Boulevard
NG7 6BE, Uk


0115 924 8630


Opening Times

Mon -  Fri: 09:00 – 18:00

Sat: 10:00 – 17:00

Sun: 10:00 – 16:00

Closed Bank Holidays

Contact Us

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We would like to acknowledge the financial support new art exchange has received from our funders and partners.

Supported by

Logos for; Arts Council England, Nottingham City Council

Capital funders

Logos for; Nottingham City Council, East Midlands Development Agency, Neighbourhood Development Company, European Regional Development Fund, Greater Nottingham Partnership, Arts Council England