Talkaoke Skills Lab

The Project

Talkaoke Skills Lab

Talkaoke Skills Lab is a unique artist development opportunity piloting a new approach to intercultural dialogue, collaboration and skills exchange by bringing together in a virtual and hybrid space artists, creatives, cultural practitioners and change-makers from Uganda and the UK.

The programme is provoked by a 1970s ‘social sculpture’ theory by the artist Joseph Beuys, who proposed that everything is art and that every aspect of life could be approached creatively. Beuys believed that everyone has the potential to be an artist and can shape their environment on a local and global scale. We ask: what does a creative and socially engaged practice mean within the global community, where technology plays an ever increasing role?

Talkaoke Skills Lab builds on The People Speak 25 years experience of creating participant-led, emergent and interactive formats such as Talkaoke – a hybrid pop-up talk show and KQ’s experience of collaborative art and activism initiatives. We invite the project participants to explore new ways of future-proof, cross-border collaboration using technology, resulting in creating and piloting their own interactive hybrid format in London and Kampala.

Talkaoke Skills Lab is supported by the British Council Cultural Exchange programme, which supports cultural organisations, festivals, artists, and creatives between the countries of SSA* and the UK to create art, build networks, collaborate and develop markets and share artists’ work with audiences.

What to expect

  • 8 online sessions via Zoom using Talkaoke – pop-up talk show format, where we will cover: key points of The People Speak methodology, including: facilitation and creation of non-hierarchical spaces and participation structures, use of digital / hybrid technology;
  • Participant-led discussions exploring current themes and issues; co-creation of interactive learning structure where participants decide on the skills they wish to develop and share;
  • 1 public facing hybrid event co-created by the participants in two cities, taking place in venues in London and Kampala
  • Mentoring and individual support with artistic and professional development by The People Speak, KQ Hub and a wider network of creative collaborators
  • Technical support in how to get the best out of online platforms

Key dates

Monday 6 December 2021  –  Programme and artist call out announcement
January 13th 2022  –  Talkaoke Online – an information session for applicants
Tuesday 1st February  –  Artist application deadline
w/c 14th February  –  Interviews with shortlisted candidates

LEARNING & DISCUSSIONS

#1 Saturday 5 Mar [11am-12:30pm UK time / 14:00-15:30 Uganda time] #2 Saturday 19 March [11am-12:30pm UK time / 14:00-15:30 Uganda time] #3 Saturday 2 April [12pm-1:30pm UK time / 14:00-15:30 Uganda time] 
#4 Thursday 14 April [3-5pm UK time / 17:00-19:00 Uganda time]

PARTICIPANT-LED CREATIVE TASKS

#5 Thursday 28 April [3-5pm UK time / 17:00-19:00 Uganda time] + Aberfeldy Live! Talkaoke [6pm UK time / 20:00 Uganda time] #6 Saturday 14 May [12pm-1:30pm UK time / 14:00-15:30 Uganda time] 
#7 Thursday 26 May [3-5pm UK time / 17:00-19:00 Uganda time] + Aberfeldy Live! Talkaoke [6pm UK time / 20:00 Uganda time]

REHEARSALS & FINAL EVENT

#8 Sunday 12 June [time TBC at Rich Mix, London / MOTIV, Kampala]
#9 Friday 24 June [time TBC at Rich Mix, London / MOTIV, Kampala]
#10 Thursday 30 June [TBC 3-5pm UK time / 17:00-19:00 Uganda time] + Aberfeldy Live! Talkaoke [6pm UK time / 20:00 Uganda time] #11 FINAL EVENT Sunday 10 July [time TBC at Rich Mix, London / MOTIV, Kampala]

MENTORING

March and July – arranged with individuals
August 2022  –  Exact date TBC, Reflection session and follow up

Who can apply

The project is open to up to 20 artists of all disciplines [eg. writing, performance, visual arts, dance, making], art producers, cultural venue programmers and anyone who describes their practice as creative. You would have interest in or already existing socially engaged practice. We are most keen to hear from people aged 18-35 based in Uganda or the UK. If your age or location differs – it is still worth you getting in touch as we may be able to accommodate you. We welcome applicants with additional access needs and have allocated a budget to provide reasonable support to make it easy for you to take part. There is no fee to participate in Talkaoke Skills Lab.

How to apply

You can apply using an online form here. We ask you to describe your creative practice and reasons for wanting to be involved in the programme. You will have a 350 word limit or 3 minute video limit on your application.

Deadline for applications Tuesday 1 February, midnight East African Time [Uganda], or 9.00pm Greenwich Mean Time Time [UK]

If you have any questions 

We will run an online Talkaoke information session on Thursday 13th January at 12pm [GMT] / 3pm [EAT] where you can get a flavour of the format and ask any questions you may have about the programme. Register for the session following this Eventbrite link.

Feel free to drop us a line on TalkaokeSkillsLab@gmail.co.uk

The People Speak is a London [UK] based group of international artists, academics and arts practitioners with world-class expertise in getting people to understand each other. We have 25 years’ experience of using performance art, multi-media and technology to stimulate discussion, ideas, and actions in engaging, interactive and fun environments, pushing the boundaries of what a conversation can lead to. Our formats include: Talkaoke – our flagship pop-up talkshow, Segue – a generative instant film-making factory; Who Wants To Be – a direct democracy game show, The Slice Is Right – pizza-making under different political systems, Inverse Apprentice – a participant-led creative entrepreneurship programme provoked by the TV show ‘The Apprentice’. We have delivered projects in partnership with most of the UK’s national cultural institutions and museums – all Tate Galleries, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Science Museum, V&A; universities and academic institutions – Queen Mary University of London, Goldsmiths University, Natural History Museum, The Francis Crick Institute, many UK festivals, such as LIFT, Shambala, The World Transformed; many social and youth charities. We have collaborated with partners in the US [Genomics Festival, Boston], Australia [The Street, Canberra], Norway [ice-9].