Posts Tagged ‘anti-slavery’

Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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March 11th 2013
Fully Staged World Premiere for Anya17!

Kammerspiele des Meininger Theater

I am delighted to announce that Anya17’s fully-staged World Premiere has been confirmed for this November in Germany!

Anya17 will be performed amidst the stunning landscape of Thuringia at Kammerspiele des Meininger Theater in Meiningen with a Cast from Theater Meiningen. The run will start on November 28th 2013 and finish on February 8th 2014.

The Meiningen Court Orchestra is one of the oldest and most tradition rich orchestras in Europe. Founded in 1690 by Duke Bernhard I, this elite 70-strong Orchestra has attracted Composers such as Johannes Brahms and Musical Direction from such luminaries as Hans von Bülow, Max Reger and Richard Strauss. The visionary Philippe Bach has been the Music Director since 2010.

The confirmed dates so far are:
Nov 28th 2013, Dec 8th 2013, Dec 14th 2013, Jan 10th 2014, Feb 8th 2014.

I need not say how excited we all are to hear the news of this run, and we hope to bring you news of performances in other countries soon!

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Author: Anna Celeste Watson - Web Designer
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November 2nd 2012
Anya17 Wins ‘Best stage or film production dealing with human trafficking’ at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards 2012

It is with great pleasure that I can officially announce here that Anya17 has won the award for ‘Best stage or film production dealing with human trafficking’ at the Human Trafficking Foundation Media Awards 2012 which were recently held at the Speaker’s House in London on 17th October, on the eve of Anti-Slavery Day.

I feel very unworthy of announcing this fantastic news here on our blog, but as the Composer Adam Gorb, Librettist Ben Kaye and Director Caroline Clegg more than deserve a break after all their hard work and the excitement of the awards, I am posting up some photos from the night and look forward to more news from Ben soon.

Ben wrote on Facebook very late on the night of the awards “If I look shell-shocked then that’s because I was – I had absolutely no idea that we might possibly win” and he left a phone message for Stu and I (Stu designed the Anya17 logo and I created the website) on the awards night with a long pause on the answerphone, finally saying in his usual modest tone and sounding very shocked indeed “We’ve only gone and won the bloomin thing!”.

I personally had no doubt whatsoever of course that Anya17 would win, and am absolutely thrilled for Ben, Adam, Caroline and the fantastic cast for their talent and dedication, but of course more importantly we hope it will raise even more awareness about sex trafficking, and open up more opportunities for further Anya17 performances in the UK and worldwide…

You can view the full list of award winners here: http://www.antislaveryday.com/awards

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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September 19th 2012
Anya17 shortlisted for the Anti Slavery Day Awards 2012

I couldn’t be more delighted to let you know that Anya17 has been shortlisted for the 2012 Anti Slavery Day Awards to be held at The Houses of Parliament on October 17th 2012.

The Awards, created by The Human Trafficking Foundation and backed by Officers of The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking, were set up to recognise those who have contributed most to raise public awareness of Human Trafficking.

Anya17 is amongst some very stiff competition, which in other Awards ceremonies might not be such good news. Since Anya17 however was written purely to raise awareness of Human Trafficking, this is a win-win situation for the cause, and to have been shortlisted is a great honour.

I can’t thank everyone for this – there are so many people who have worked so hard and for so long to bring Anya17 to life that a list of names (like those of the victims) would be just meaningless. Let me just say then that “you know who you are” and that without even one of your contributions, the project would have been meaningless. Thank you so much.

So, what about the future? It seems we’re off to Romania in 2013 to help raise awareness in a country which is the overwhelmingly recognised ‘starting point’ for the majority of Trafficking victims to the UK. I really hope we can bash some political heads there and make a difference. Germany is also looking promising. We are currently fielding enquiries from the USA and have recently been featured in magazines from such far flung corners of the world as South Korea. Only time will tell.

Until next time – Ben.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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January 23rd 2012
Purple Teardrop Campaign supports Anya17

I am delighted to announce that the Purple Teardrop Campaign has joined Anya17 as an official supporter. As you can imagine we’re all very excited about their participation and wish them the warmest of welcomes. The Purple Teardrop Campaign has four main aims:

1. To raise awareness among the general public of the plight of women and children who are trafficked.

2. To try to suppress the demand for trafficked women by making men who use prostitutes aware that they could be contributing to this trade.

3. To promote the Crimestoppers number, 0800 555 111, so that members of the public can give confidential information on locations where they think trafficked women are being exploited.

4. To support the safe houses which provide holistic care for victims who have been freed from trafficking.

To find out more about the Purple Teardrop Campaign follow them on Twitter @TeardropPurple or visit http://www.purpleteardrop.org.uk 

 

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Author: Caroline Clegg - Director
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December 19th 2011
Anya17 Director & Cast: First Read-Through

Anya17’s award-winning Director Caroline Clegg explains her ethos of using the Arts to raise awareness of modern day slavery and the victims of sex trafficking, and why she has chosen to be involved with the opera…

On Monday December 12th I had my first read-through with the cast of Anya17.  Although Anya17 is an opera, it is useful to speak the libretto as text at this stage prior to the singers learning the notes. I feel privileged to be working on this important project and would like to invite every person who reads this blog not only to come to see the performance, but also to join Anti-Slavery International, for only with action will we end slavery.

For the past five years, and intensively for the last two and a half, I have been immersed in the issue of slavery with particular reference to Mende Nazer.  I read her book, Slave six years ago and adapted it into the award winning play Slave – A Question of Freedom with my company Feelgood which has just finished its second tour.  It is the true story of her abduction, rape and slavery in Sudan and the UK.  She was one of the lucky ones and escaped in 2000.  Now she uses her voice to help those who remain voiceless namely the 27 million nameless in slavery today who cannot speak out.

Working on the play has taught me a myriad of things, the most important being that we as artists and story tellers have a paramount responsibility to be strong advocates for the victims and to represent their stories authentically.  Enslavement is the cruelest and most inhuman act one human being can perpetrate on another and the very fact that in the 21st century it is as prevalent today as it was 200 years ago is abhorrent.  In Anya17 we will tell the story honestly, without compromise or neglect for the truth and we invite you all to come and watch, particularly if you are a man.  Let’s not shirk this issue.  Slavery today is predominantly perpetrated by males, particularly in sexual slavery.  And yes, let’s use the word slavery.  Trafficking is just a means of transportation.  People are being bought and sold into slavery.  What else do you call it if someone is forced to work 7 days a weeks, 18 hours a day without pay and they are locked in a house without any means to escape or communicate with the outside world?  People are sold to become domestic slaves in someone’s house, or as part of an unpaid gang to work on building sites, in catering outlets making sandwiches for supermarkets or as drug mules or commonly as prostitutes servicing up to 30 men a day.  Right now there could be someone in your street or town who is enslaved and you would know nothing about it.

A modern slave is de-humanised, brainwashed into non action, because she has been drugged and terrorised into thinking that if she tries to escape not only will she/he be killed but his/her captors will also find their family and kill them too.  Often the enslaved person forced into prostitution is simply known by a number  – hence Anya17 or in Mende’s case ‘abda’ or ‘yebit’ meaning slave and person worthy of no name.  Imagine if your son or daughter, your mum or your sister, being groomed and seduced to go to London for a ‘job’ and you never saw them again!”

Our generation is charged with ending slavery.  William Wilberforce spent 36 years in getting parliament to make it illegal now we have to stop it all together.  The Victorians stamped out a visual transatlantic slave trade; now it is up to us to eradicate the secret and dangerous underground trade in people.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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November 30th 2011
Anya17: Caroline Clegg to direct Anya17

Caroline Clegg to direct Anya17

I am absolutely delighted to announce that the Director of the highly successful play ‘Slave – A Question of Freedom’ is now to direct Anya17.

Caroline Clegg is an Actor, Freelance Director and Artistic Director of Feelgood Theatre Productions

Caroline’s recent adaptation of Mende Nazer’s autobiography and subsequent direction of the resulting play, ‘Slave…’ won the Pete Postlethwaite Award for Best New Play in 2011 following its world premiere at The Lowry in November 2010. Subsequently it was performed in the House of Lords and transferred to the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, the Unity Theatre Liverpool and International Slavery Museum and the Guildhall in Derby. Plans for 2012/13 include performing at the UN and in the USA.

With the Play lauded by both public and critics alike, Caroline is looking forward to the new challenge of directing Anya17:

“I am delighted to be working on Anya17 to highlight the abhorrent crime of trafficking women into sexual slavery. My journey on Slave – A Question of Freedom led me to some very dark places and I experienced audiences identifying with the true horror of slavery in the 21st century through bearing witness to the testimony of one person’s story.

The transformative effect and power of live theatre and music can change hearts and minds and I have been privileged to see that power in action. I feel honoured to be able to continue to use my craft as a story teller on Anya17 and most importantly to give voice to the voiceless.

There are 27 million slaves alive today, more than were stolen from Africa in four centuries of the transatlantic slave trade. Today, men, women and children are being trafficked all over the world by gangs in highly organised illegal, dangerous and secretive operations. We have the capacity to end trafficking and slavery in our lifetime and fight for a world without human bondage, a world where vulnerable people are not bought and sold. Together, we can and must take action; we have no excuse to turn away.”

We are all very excited to have such an experienced and well-respected Director on board, particularly one already so immersed in the subject matter and dedicated to using the Arts to bring the crime of modern day Slavery into the public eye.

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Author: Ben Kaye - Librettist, Co-founder
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October 26th 2011
House of Lords

Ben Kaye ~ Human Trafficking Foundation Chairman Anthony Steen ~ Adam Gorb ~ House of Lords

It was a great honour indeed for Adam Gorb and I to be invited to The House of Lords on October 17th to represent Anya17 at the inaugural HTF Media Awards. Never having visited Parliament before, the sense of occasion was even more heightened as we were ushered past the thousands of tourists, through the private gates and into this extraordinary centre of power, declaimed by its extravagant, almost gothic architecture and interior restrained magnificence.

Neither Parliamentary film footage nor the ubiquitous London postcards could have prepared me for the scale or opulence of The Lords. Both Adam and I though spent our time wisely though, talking with many representatives from Human Trafficking Charities and political figures about Anya17, as well as listening to speeches from Trafficking victims and media figures.

Having seen so many ‘shots’ of The Houses of Parliament from across the river it was strange to see the London Eye and so many other new landmarks from the deeply historically-entrenched perspective of The Lords. Despite the radically-altered skyline I couldn’t help but be transported back to Pepys, the Great Fire and strangely enough the freezing of The Thames, together with its accompanying Chestnut sellers, braying their wares from behind glowing braziers on the ice – such is the lot of a poet!

From an Arts perspective I was absolutely bowled over by a truly extraordinary exhibition of charcoals by the Artist Rosalie Watkins, whose powerful work portrayed a Trafficking victim ‘Kira’. If you haven’t seen these utterly exceptional works of art then you absolutely MUST visit http://www.rosaliewatkins.co.uk/rosaliewatkins.co.uk/Human_Trafficking_Project.html

In essence though our presence at The Lords was an opportunity to rouse the media and raise awareness of Sex Trafficking in particular and more generally Human Trafficking in the UK. Could I therefore take this opportunity to thank Tamlin Vickers at the HTF for the invitation following our Award nomination. Press, BBC three regions TV and much other coverage swiftly followed, including an additional promise of coverage from BBC Radio 3.

My next blog will cover my visit to No. 10 Downing Street and the possibility of a performance in Strasbourg in April courtesy of Bob Walter MP and the UK’s Presidency of The Council of Europe.

Auditions for Anya17, (and filming) begin in just over a week, so I’ll no doubt be back in touch very soon!

Oh yes… Funding! To date we have received no funding whatsoever, so if you would like to help (and incidentally become the owner of the very ‘first’ T Shirt design before it changes in a few days time) please spend the equivalent of a couple of double mocca chocca chinos and you can say that you were in at the beginning! http://anya17.spreadshirt.co.uk

Please be aware that the back of the T Shirts contain sexually explicit content appropriate to the cause. For younger wearers I recommend the ‘Front Only’ option.

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Author: Anna Celeste Watson - Web Designer
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October 14th 2011
Anya17 T-Shirts Now Available

We are very pleased to announce that the official Anya17 t-shirts are now available to buy in the online shop on: http://anya17.spreadshirt.co.uk.

Currently available in Women’s Classic, Girlie Fit and Organic plus Men’s Classic and Organic – both with just the logo on the front or with optional back print.

You’ll have to wait for our designer Stu Jones to give you a bit more info on what the acronyms on the back design mean though, so keep ‘em peeled!!!…

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