I AM WYCOMBE Lasana Shabazz
I AM WYCOMBE by Lasana Shabazz was commissioned by Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Farnham Maltings, working in partnership with Buckinghamshire Libraries, and funded by the Rothschild Foundation.
Over the last few months Lasana Shabazz has been working with staff and communities at High Wycombe and Micklefield Libraries, talking to them about their stories of living in Buckinghamshire. Drawing on experiences shared by participants and the artist’s own story, Lasana has created a series of seven films, now showing on essexcdp.com and Vimeo.
Each film tells a different story from unique perspectives, with common themes threading through all seven that connect them together: strong themes include home; generations, family and fatherhood; community, belonging and acceptance; fairytales and storytelling.
The artist has captured a powerful snapshot of people and place, creating an important platform for the stories that often don’t often get told, placing voices of the diverse and varied community of Wycombe firmly at the centre of the artistic process. The project was also an opportunity for Lasana to explore their own personal history; Lasana’s family settled in High Wycombe after arriving in the UK from St Vincent in the Caribbean, and the artist frequently visited as a child. Lasana saw the project as a way to connect with Wycombe again as an adult, developing their connection to the community, as part of their own family history and story.
Watch some of the films below or on Vimeo at vimeo.com
Thank you to Buckinghamshire Libraries for hosting the commission, and thank you to all participants who took part in the project and those who helped along the way, including staff at High Wycombe and Micklefield Libraries, Sign Dance Collective, Wycombe Youth Action, Wycombe Refugee Partnership, Wycombe Museum and Wycombe Arts Centre.
About the Project
This commission is part of a three-year project, funded by the Rothschild Foundation, to create the confidence, experience and networks for the communities of Buckinghamshire to present and commission live performance. The overall project is managed by Farnham Maltings who are working with Essex Cultural Diversity Project on this commission, in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council