What Would I Be Without Everybody

NAE is pleased to announce ‘What Would I Be Without Everybody?’, a creative programme curated by Saziso Phiri, inspired by the ethos and practices of care and community. Running from April until 24th August, join us for an enriching experience which includes an exhibition, podcast series, artist talks, music, film, and career development sessions tailored for creatives.
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”I have spent a lot of time thinking about being a curator, and what that truly means for me. In doing so, I have frequently returned to the original definition of the word – the Latin word cura, which means ‘to take care of.’ This served as the foundation when thinking about a theme for this programme, with the intention of exploring how artists interpret and embody care within their practices. Through encounters and conversations with those within Nottingham’s creative community and beyond, I discovered a greater need for resources and platforms to support creatives.

The name of this season, What Would I Be Without Everybody? is taken from a book by performance artist and researcher Kye Grant, that I had come across during the conceptualisation period. The book contains a series of interviews conducted by Grant with people whose work, livelihood, artform, expertise, and spirit rely on people. Reading through the conversations and grasping an understanding of
Kye’s motivation for the book got me thinking about human influence on one another, and how much we need other human beings to survive, directly and indirectly. Whilst care was still very much an important topic for this programme, the dominant theme became community.

The paintings in Kim Thompson’s Water into Wine exhibition have been made possible by the contributions of nine individuals who entrusted her with their time, sharing significant moments in their lives, along with personal photographs and treasured ephemera. Artist Jah Digga’s song, created in response to this programme’s title, speaks to the importance of supporting one another, with an emphasis on intergenerational support.

Filmmaker Jamal Sterrett’s accompanying video serves as a beautiful visual tribute to this message. Another powerful example of community-driven creativity is Baobab Pictures’ and Brownstone Studios’ new short film, Gugulethu. Whilst the film focuses on various interpretations of love, care and the power of human connection, the care practised by Baobab Pictures and Brownstone Studios in providing opportunities for fellow emerging filmmakers was just as important. It was humbling to observe the dedication and teamwork demonstrated during the process of completing the film by all involved. Care and collaborative efforts were also magnified through the critical and considerate feedback provided by a steering group of community members during a screening of an early edit of the film.

Zimbabwean musician Sekuru’s work is driven by a deep commitment to preserving the history and traditions of his ancestors. Through music and oral storytelling, he ensures that these vital cultural practices are not lost to future generations. Similarly, Jayson Wynters, an esteemed producer, and former MC, will demonstrate how music – reggae in particular can be a tool to transform everyday experiences into stories that reflect the complexities of our shared histories. Artist Lakwena Maciver’s large-scale indoor and outdoor works grace locations around the world, infusing these spaces with her unique blend of upliftment, and joy, which she will speak about in conversation during the programme.

Meanwhile, Mikhalis Webster-Ïacovou’s ‘Each One, Teach One’ conversations with creative leaders offers listeners a chance to gain insights and inspiration from four accomplished individuals who centre the key themes of this programme in their work. As Elijah’s lecture and Bounce Cinema’s workshop will demonstrate, pulling down the ladder and sharing knowledge and resources is the key to sustaining creativity and growth, and bringing up the next generation of leaders and pioneers within the sector. Ultimately, every aspect of this programme – from the exhibition, film, music and discussions – embodies care and community through different interpretations.


I invite you to engage in this programme, whether that’s through one event or more, digitally through the music and podcast episodes, or through social media.

Your participation will complement the success of this season. What would we be without you?”

Saziso Phiri
Associate Artistic Director — Transform


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