In April 2012 Michael Amaning and Segun Olaiya represented the company in a trip to Brazil as part of a cultural warriors programme with Peoples Palace Productions to share practice with Afro-Reggae in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.
” Brazil helped me realise that regardless of the struggle you’re in, there is a possibility to find dignity and happiness. My attitude even more than before is to enjoy, make do and live with what’s around us and honour the life we’ve got.” Segun Olaiya, Associate artist, Playing ON
The cultural warriors programme was a three year process bringing together UK theatre companies and AfroReggae from Rio de Jenrio. This project was organised by People’s Palace Projects and involved us (Playing On), The Lawnmowers from Newcastle , Contact Theatre in Manchester, the Sage in Gateshead and Theatre Royal Stratford East in London. It was a three year sharing process of practices and values which resulted in a delegation going to Brazil to see how AfroReggae live and work. We spent 6 days sharing, learning, exploring and collaborating with AfroReggae and other inspirational companies in Rio. A full day was spent in the Favela Vigario Geral where the cultural warriors led a workshop involving games, exercises, discussions, socialising, acceptance and sharing.
“Being in Brazil strengthened my practice and skills. Seeing how AfroReggae influences and takes care of their community gives me much more passion to go and do the same for my community and communities I work with. The arts is what we have in common and the friendship and love is what takes that art to another level.” – Michael Amaning, Associate artist, Playing ON