Tag Archives: Dr Johnson’s House

BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT – Update

We are continuing to implement the online research, activities and events measure until September.

We have been busy however.

There have been submissions of responses to the An Essay on The Writings and Genius of Shakespear by Elizabeth Montagu

Here is an example from Priscilla Olympio

Phoebe Monologue – AS YOU LIKE IT

For more info in how to submit these outputs follow this link

Show Us The Genius Of Shakespeare – Elizabeth Montagu Study

We are continuing work on the preparation of STEWY installation at home and delivered paints, felt-tips, and hard copies.

You can download the PDF and we will collect the coloured in sheets after lockdown has been lifted and deliver workshops to complete the piece for exhibition.

Some of our participants made personal solo visits to Wollstonecraft sites on her birthday including laying flowers at her monument at St Pancras Old Church

We partnered with Newington Green Meeting House in their online Wollstonecraft birthday events and supported the launch of the new WOLLSTONECRAFT WALKS APP  by one of our heritage partners,  Fragments & Monuments, in collaboration with Scary Little Girls

We are continuing work on our digital outputs including the edit of the interview with Professor Anna Birch – supported by Neil Webster from Edwin Louis Fear Films. We have started the edit of the book of community produced poetry Hackney Dissent and the heritage booklet Blue Circle Of Dissent.

In addition we are building a YouTube channel containing ALL our filmed outputs over the last 10 years.

Unity Arts YouTube channel

If you need materials or support with your at home research or are new and would like to know more about this project, please contact us via the form below.

Urban  Bird  in – Covid 19 by Billy Colvill

From our at home activities, here is a response to where we all find ourselves during lockdown by one of the poets from  Hackney Dissent, Billy Colvill.

Urban  Bird  in- Covid 19

“ Ring-a-ring  of  roses

A  pocketful  of  posies

Atishoo, a tissue?

We  all  full  down.”

This  is  purdah.

Just  spent  my  daily  allowance  of

Essential  journey  time.

I  loiter  at  the  cross-roads

To  my  room

Full  of  possible  intent

But  know  it`s  lockdown  facing  me,

Splendid  isolation.

Have  to  keep  slapping  myself,

“ Wake  up  and  smell  the  coffee.”

I  must  have  been  asleep

When  my  carnival  of  people  passed  on  by.

I  want  my  bumping, bustling, sweaty, shoving,

Rude,  insulting  crowd

Back.

 

Everyone  has  become, “so  kind,”

So  loving,  so  polite.

And  when  those  people

Who  wouldn`t  ordinarily  give  me  the  time  of  day

Say  they  want  to  befriend  me,

It`s  been  my  experience they  want  to  shamelessly  exploit

My  singular  native  English  nostalgic  sentimentality.

Then  there`s  that  class  of  people who

In  the  blink  of  an  eye

Voted  your  wage  rise  down, voted  to

Leave  you  homeless,

They  in  one  voice  speak  through  antiseptic,

Praising  heroes  who  work  a  twelve

And  a  half-hour  shift   at  their  bidding

Without  a  paid  break  or  proper  equipment.

As  if  the  “ heroes”  weren’t  in  danger  enough.

How  our  leaders bang  on  how  much

They  love  and  care  for  the  people,

Stop  it,   my  ears are bleeding

Where`s  your  London  mob  when  you  need  them?

The  riot  of  colour?  The  noise?

What  was  I  moaning  about?

 

Dragging  my  feet  back  to  my  room,

right  now, if  I  had  the  chance

I`d Jump  in   and   join my  herd

For  the  company  and  banter

Even  though  by  all  accounts

My  government  is  leading  the  herd  to  the  abattoir.

The  instruction,

Writ  large  by  the  invisible  hand  of  Capital

For  only  the  privileged  to  see

Based  on  the  witty  professors

Statistical  probability,

The  instruction  is,

That  for  us  the  masses,

The  question, who  lives or dies,

Is  for  us  the  masses,

A  charitable  post-code lottery.

The  invisible  hand  of  Capital

Signs  off;

“ England  is  now  one  big  Grenfell Tower.”

I  swear  on  the  Roman  London  god  of  birds, Janus,

Fuck  it,

Even  after  all  what  my  families  been  through

There  is  still  no  science  for  us,  so  it`s

still  down  to  more

luck  than  judgement.

Back  in  my  room

The  weight  of  the  world  wears  heavy  on  me.

I  think  of  someone,  I  wonder,

Have  they  been  tested  yet?

Billy  Colvill ( One  is  A  Bird. 2020. Billy  Colvill.)

Show Us The Genius of Shakespeare! ELIZABETH MONTAGU STUDY –

For those of you researching Elizabeth Montagu during lockdown why not make a film of a Shakespeare excerpt!

Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800) was famous in her lifetime as a Shakespeare critic, salon hostess and champion of women’s writing. She is largely attributed for contributing to the veneration of Shakespeare and his subsequent honouring as our National Bard.

Christened “Queen of the Bluestockings” by Samuel Johnson, Montagu attracted the leading writers, politicians and artists of her day to her sparkling London assemblies, where she placed a new emphasis on conversation as a pleasurable and enlightened pursuit.

In response to reading An Essay On The Writings And Genius Of Shakespear

  • Intro yourself and add “This is a contribution to the Unity Arts Project – BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT”
  • Select your favourite quote from the  Montagu essay and open with that
  • Follow with a recitation of your favourite Shakespeare piece. (2 mins).
  • If you have the tech include this logo in your credits
  • Send us via a vimeo or you tube link in the form below and we will put on our website and youtube channel!

For additional background research you can also read her letters  here at Elizabeth Montagu Letters

Looking forward to hearing and seeing you!

OUTSIDE PROJECT ACTIVITIES ON PAUSE

In response to the situation we all find ourselves in we are pausing all outside and group activities during April, May and June.

This will of course mean postponement of the Easter Workshops, our event at New Unity on 27 April and the research trips to Bath and in London will have to take place later in the year.

Nevertheless, we are taking this time to do heritage research and activities for BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT at home.

All team members, volunteers and participants can be sent materials and packs and we can use this time for painting, essays, installation creation, editing and online research. Here are some prompts we are using at the moment.

Hackney Dissent Research Materials

We can go to not only The Vindication of The Rights of Woman by Wollstonecraft but also her travel writing and stories for children.

We can take the time to return to Shakespeare as Elizabeth Montagu advises in 1769 in An Essay on the Writings and Genius of Shakespear.

You can also follow in Mary Wollstonecraft’s footsteps! Fragments & Monuments and Scary Little Girls Feminist Performance Hub have a new new app Wollstonecraft Walk App

Our next planned event will be 18 July at Dr Johnson’s House and our Wollstonecraft event at New Unity re-scheduled for 10 September. This may of course change.

We will keep in touch via email throughout this time and ANYTHING we can do to help please contact us!!!

 

HERITAGE FILM TRAINING

Unity Arts are creating a series of short documentaries for the National Lottery Funded BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT.

 

Following workshops and training in the spring and summer The Digital Outputs team, with professional support and mentoring from Edwin Louis Fear Films and Meddle Films, were part of the crew that produced HACKNEY DISSENT

During the coming months we will be training, writing and shooting more footage for these documentaries including interviewing experts like Professor Anna Birch.

with an eventual project output of an installation film for our exhibition in Hackney in November 2020.

Please contact us via the form below if you would like to learn more about interviewing experts, writing scripts for documentaries, how to choose relevant underscoring, helping the edit when shooting.

There will be opportunities to be part of the crew and gain credits and work for portfolios.

All levels of experience welcome!!!!

 

Hackney Dissent Documentary

In May of this year Unity Arts delievered a week of heritage workshops in Hoxton and in Hoxton Hall called

HACKNEY DISSENT

Out of which we created a short film Hackney Dissent

The workshops, in partnership with Hoxton Hall, used slam poetry, research trips (including a special day at Dr Johnson’s House).

We used sources like The Vindication Of The Rights Of Woman to inspire work from all areas of our community to make an exhibition and share in performance.

Groups of 7-11 year olds, 12-18 year olds and 18+ all looked at debate, radical writings and how to communicate ideas.

We had a well attended sharing at Hoxton Hall on 31 May and on 1 June (a very HOT day) an exhibition and sharing at Dr Johnson’s House.

With the support of Edwin Louis Fear Films the Digital Outputs volunteers interviewed participants and were also part of the final editing process.

The documentry can be found here Hackney Dissent Documentary

Also you can find some of the research materials that helped inform the outputs.

We have more Heritage Film Workshops coming up so please contact us if you have an interest in filmaking documentaries and doing interviews with experts about Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Montgu and the Bluestocking Society.

 

 

SPOKEN WORD AT DR JOHNSON’S HOUSE 1ST JUNE!

We are having a week of activities and workshops at Hoxton Hall including workshops led by Joelle Taylor, called HACKNEY DISSENT. The week will produce responses from participants of all ages and backgrounds about the legacy of DISSENT.

One of our outcomes is an evening of SPOKEN WORD!

COME AND JOIN US on 1 JUNE at

Dr Johnson’s House

A charming 300-year-old townhouse, nestled amongst a maze of courts and alleys in the historic City of London. Samuel Johnson, the writer and wit, lived and worked here in the middle of the eighteenth century, compiling his great Dictionary of the English Language in the Garret and a supporter of two of heritage research subjects, Mary Wollstonecraft and Elizabeth Montagu.

Brand new works from those versed in as well as new to Spoken Word as a performance art and a political and debating tool.

Doors will open at 645pm and the Performance will start at 7pm. 

You will get free entry and a free glass of wine and we will also have info about the whole project THE BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT.

Register for FREE tickets here

HACKNEY DISSENT at DR JOHNSON’S

A lovely evening made possible by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

 

 

 

FREE HALF TERM WORKSHOPS AT HOXTON HALL

Unity Arts and Hoxton Hall will be delivering FREE half term workshops for 7-10s and 11-19s  at Hoxton Hall during the May Half Term.

The workshops called HACKNEY DISSENT  will run

Tuesday 28 – Friday 31 May from 1030 – 330

and include sessions in drama, movement, arts and performance poetry. We will finish the week with a performance for an invited audience.

All who come to the workshops will also be taken on a trip to Dr Johnson’s House in Fleet Street and all work made during the week will be included in a book in both printed and online versions and everyone will receive a copy.

If you would like to register for a FREE place please complete this form

HACKNEY DISSENT WORKSHOPS FORM

or contact Grace at Hoxton Hall grace@hoxtonhall.co.uk

 

HLF Fund Blue Circle Of Dissent!

TWO YEAR COMMUNITY RESEARCH PROJECT RECEIVES HLF SUPPORT!

Unity Arts have successfully bid for a National Lottery grant  from the Heritage Lottery Fund to support a two year project BLUE CIRCLE OF DISSENT. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players.

The project will research the events, works and personalities that surrounded the lives and work of Mary Wollstonecraft and Blue Stockings Society leader, Elizabeth Montagu.

Elizabeth Montagu

Throughout the coming months Unity Arts will be platforming research, talks, training and events. Research visits will include, the National Portrait Gallery, Kenwood House and Strawberry Hill.

Strawberry Hill House

This project will create a series of free events. Events on 27 and 28 April 2019 (including an Outside Event on Newington Green) will be held to commemorate the birthday of radical Mary Wollstonecraft.

Events throughout the project will include an evening of literary presentations at Dr. Johnson’s House off Fleet Street. A community made event with specialist speaker in St Pancras.. An all-day installation at the Foundling Museum and a debate and installation at the Dissenters’ Gallery.

Please contact us for more information.