Hey guys! One of my favourite events in Hull, the Freedom Festival, is officially back! Due to covid, the event was moved online last year but this year, while still being mindful of the pandemic, the festival has been able to run again. The events have all been ticketed even if they are free to allow for them to remain at 50% capacity and easier social distancing. With the uncertainty about when restrictions were going to ease which remained until July, I think it was probably smart to plan as if the festival might still take place with stage 3 restrictions. Another thing that was different about this year’s festival was that it had started earlier and lasted for much longer.This allowed us to fit many more events in and to enjoy a wider range of events than you could have before which I think was excellent. Due to this, we planned the bulk of our events on two days in the school holidays. This post is detailing our first day of events and part 2 will describe our second day of events.
Gandini Juggling had previously appeared at the festival back in 2018. They brought a new act to the 2021 festival featuring 80 oranges, 7 watermelons and 9 performers. Through their lighthearted juggling performance, they offered an interesting insight on the strained relations between men and women. At various points throughout the performance, the power shifted between the men and women. This was expressed through the men trying to touch the women and distract them from juggling and conversely, the women seemed to judgementally watch the men juggle which distracted them. Obviously, at some points the performers dropped their juggling balls but the way they styled it out and kept going instantly was truly admirable. The performance had carried a witty and lighthearted air throughout but tension increased towards the end as the performers went mad and began to smash all the fruit they’d been juggling with. It was quite satisfying to see all the fruit squished on the floor and I thought it was a very fitting ending to the act.
Uplifting, powerful and mesmerising. Rise featured 4 incredible female dancers who captured the audience with their unique movements. The most admirable part for me was how in sync they all were. They seemed to effortlessly transition from a solo piece into a duet or quartet where they moved in perfect unison. The unity that the group promoted is no coincidence as they seek to symbolise a community through the routine. The act is inspired by Maya Angelou’s poem with the moral being that as a community and a world, we rise and fall together so therefore, we must support each other in this life. This is such a current issue especially considering everything we’ve been through in the past year and hopefully their beautiful dance continues to touch more people.
Thinking back to the 2018 festival, the hypnotic Museum of the Moon installation was the brainchild of Luke Jerram. Gaia is his contribution to the 2021 festival which is a stunning installation of the Earth. Hosted by Hull Minster, this stunning art work looked absolutely breathtaking alongside the church’s beautiful interior. It was suspended from the ceiling and was spinning round and round, further adding to the effect. We really enjoyed capturing photos of it and just admiring its beauty before we headed out to our next event.
Digital Atmosphere-Studio Above and Below
This Mixed Reality sculpture was fascinating as it looked at how technology and art can illuminate the quality of our air which is usually invisible to the naked eye. Using a tablet with a cutting edge app installed on it, the camera was able to pick up particles that were clustering together in the air. We had fun trying to work out where the air particles were and separate them with our hands, all of which was visible on the tablet. I thought it was such a unique concept and I am so glad that I got to experience this installation!
Thanks for reading this post! There’ll be another one out soon but until then bye for now!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull