Manchester based, international performance artist Chanje Kunda is premiering a new show ‘Plant Fetish’ that will appear at The ARC in Stockton and HOME in Manchester in November 2019, and is available for touring from Spring 2020. In addition to the performance, Chanje is offering workshops for community groups and emerging artists.

Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist based in Manchester. Prominent performances include features at The Royal Albert Hall London. She has also performed in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven and Groningen. Her collection of poetry Amsterdam was published by Crocus Books. This book was adapted for stage and toured widely across the UK and internationally including features at the Southbank, and the National Arts Festival of South Africa. In 2015 she won the BBC’s Verb New Voices Award. Her last show ‘Superposition’ was commissioned by the Lowry and toured the UK in 2017/ 2018.

The show is inspired by real life experience. Chanje was suffering with stress and anxiety and discovered a book called ‘Plant Style’ that explained that plants reduce stress, and increase creativity and productivity. So she starts buying lots of plants in a bid to save herself from her impending demise. It changed her life and she made a show about it. The show is a celebration of diversity, and be designed to inspire people to reclaim the right to experience happiness, to dance and enjoy exotic plants and nature, outside of the ideologies that make people stressed out in the first place.

Stress has become an epidemic in modern society. Engaging with plants and nature is a pleasurable way to lead more fulfilled lives by becoming mindful of the beauty of creation.

Workshop Content

The workshops target the following groups:

  • Adults with Mental Conditions: Chanje Kunda has extensive experience working with this client group. She was artist in residence at Central Manchester Hospitals for 3 years, and has also done workshops in the community for this client group. She also has a diagnosis of Complex PTSD, and is therefore part of the community she wishes to serve.
    Rather than prescribing a theme for participants to write about, the creative writing workshops will offer a choice of themes to be selected according to what would work best for a specific group. Themes include: Autobiography/ life writing, writing around hopes and dreams, Escapism/fantasy writing, Mad Pride (celebration of neuro-diversity), masks (looking at ways we hide ourselves from the outside world), and of course plants (metaphors of growth and renewal).
  • Emerging Artists: Chanje has lead workshops for emerging artists throughout the UK and also in the Netherlands, South Africa and Zimbabwe. She is committed to sharing her skills and knowledge with the next generation of aspiring artists interested in contemporary performance.
    Workshops for Emerging Artists combine writing and performance. The process of devising of a show will be explored, and also writing technique, physical theatre technique, as well as vocal technique. The workshops can be tailored to the specific group and their desired learning outcomes.

If you would be interested in hosting this workshop or would like to find out more please contact Stephen Laing, Community Programme Coordinator on 01642 525186 or email stephen.laing@arconline.co.uk