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Camden Migration Festival

Thursday 25th September – Sunday 5th October

Comprising eleven days of live music and art, talks and bird-spotting walks in the local area.

Camden Migration is a family-friendly exploration into the migration of birds and people through the arts, celebrating cultural expansion but also considering its environmental impact, particularly on bird extinction.

The carefully chosen programme of live music reflects some of the main bird migration routes around the world as well as showcasing some of the best multi-cultural music in London.

The Ghost of Gone Birds Exhibition will take place in the Foundry Room at The Forge, with a series of artists working at break-neck speed to create an image of every extinct bird within the eleven days of the Festival. These prints will be available to buy, with all the proceeds donated to relevant charities chosen by Ghost of Gone Birds.

Thursday 25 September
7pm: Ghosts of Gone Birds Exhibition

Resurrecting extinct birds can be hard work; and now you can see for yourself. The Forge have invited 11 very different artists to dedicate a day to breathing creative life back into the birds we have lost. But they’re not just setting up a special pop-up Ghosts studio for the artists in the Foundry Room upstairs at The Forge – they’re also adding a real old, weather-beaten bird hide from RSPB Coquet Island for visitors to use to quietly observe the artists at work. So this is your chance to see extinct birds resurrected before your very eyes. Eleven days. 11 artists. Working hard to create a new Ghosts Gallery of Gone Birds.

Friday 26 September
8pm: The Old Dance School £12/£11

Expansive landscapes of ear-bending contemporary folk place. A live show that charts their remarkable journey from ballet school basement jam sessions and cowshed rehearsals, to remote lighthouses, to headline appearances at international festivals.

Saturday 27 September
2pm: The Urban Birder talk Ticketed Free Event

We know so little about migration. Many of us still equate migration to simply being the swallows heading south for the winter to return the following spring. But there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Yes it is north and south, but it’s also east to west, uphill to downhill and even into cities and out of them. David Lindo, also known as The Urban Birder, has studied birds in urban areas for many years and he believes that you don’t have to go to some remote coastal headland to witness the wonders of migration. It can be seen in your local park!

4pm: Ruth Padel reading and book signing Ticketed Free Event
Children of Storm - Birds, People and Migrations

The internationally acclaimed poet Ruth Padel reads and talks about her haunting meditation on migration, of birds, animals and human beings, throughout history and in today's world of asylum-seekers and detention centres.

The Mara Crossing is the story of migration. I felt I had barely understood the word before.” Countryfile.

A magical mix of prose and poetry,” Independent.

7.30pm: Clube do Choro £8/£5
Clube do Choro UK is spreading traditional Brazilian Choro and traditional samba throughout the land, providing opportunities for the British to immerse themselves in the wonder of this unique style.

Sunday 28 September
11am: Keys and Coffee – Simon Watterton £12/£10

The Caged Byrd: A migration through time: Mozart was one of music's great travellers - as a child taken far and wide by his father to impress the courts of Europe; as an adult, in a tireless search for employment and recognition. Before his powerful A Minor sonata, a stop off in each century from the 16th to the 20th via haikus, cuckoos and Brahms.

2pm: Panos Film Shorts

A selection of film shorts from Panos around the theme of Migration, Displacement and Extinction.

7.30pm: Kanda Bongo Man £12.50/£10 The man who single-handedly gave the world the infectious Kwasa Kwasa dance; Kanda Bongo Man is one of the most well known stars of world music, and one of the first pioneers of he African Soukous music.

Tuesday 30 September
7pm: Out-Spoken £12/£10

Out-Spoken invites the UK’s leading poets, rappers, and musicians to share their art at a monthly showcase.

Wednesday 1 October
7.30pm: Cross Cultural Global Music £8

A project founded by Ganga Thapa. It aims to raise the profile of Nepalese music, unite people and cultural awareness in a creative and global context.

Thursday 2 October
7pm: Dislocating Asia with Dr Diana Yeh £8/£6

An evening of talks, performance, comedy, poetry and music inspired or shaped by migrations from East Asia. Diana Yeh presents her new book The Happy Hsiungs: Performing China and the Struggle for Modernity about Shih-I Hsiung, acclaimed as the first Chinese director to work in the West End and on Broadway. Actors Daniel York and Jennifer Lim read excerpts from Lady Precious Stream, the play that shot him to worldwide fame. Orwell Prize shortlisted blogger Anna Chen reads from her ‘brilliant and dangerous’ poetry collection, Reaching for my Gnu (Aaaargh! Press), and tries out some new poems. Music is provided by semi-acoustic Hapa trio Wondermare, followed by British Chinese musician/composer Liz Chi Yen Liew, who performs music from her latest album Snapshots, with Dennis Lee on the xiao (flute) and guzheng (zither), taking listeners on an evocative musical journey from China to London. The evening ends with DJ Lucky Cat Zoë playing a mixture of Chinese golden oldies from her vinyl collection blended with the freshest urban sounds from Shanghai and Beijing.

Friday 3 October
7pm: Paprika £12/£10

This fiery Balkan band in fact surpasses itself in doing exactly what it says on the tin. Rapid-fire melodies swoop in from Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, delivered by the lightning fingers of musicians born and bred into each of their unique traditions.

Saturday 4 October
1pm: 'Ghosts' by Nick Broomfield £5/ £4

1pm: Talk and Short film - Unfinished Journeys: A Remembrance

2pm: Ghosts (2006)
Nick Broomfield’s 2006 film drama Ghosts, about the Morecombe Bay disaster which saw 21 people lose their lives. Preceded by a talk and short film screening with Dr Diana Yeh, commemorating ten years since the disaster.

7.30pm Shaanti £10/£8

Shaanti works with the arts and cultural sectors to provide events promoting British Asian contemporary culture for the community, and giving people access to great arts experiences.

With Nathan ‘Flute Box’ Lee & Biscuit (Clinic) Live, Rita Mora, Sharnita & Support DJs.

Sunday 5 October
11am: Pole to Pole: The Epic Journey of an Arctic Tern. With Tom McKinney. £12/£10
This recital by BBC Radio 3 presenter, guitarist and birder Tom McKinney traces the route of an Arctic Tern from the Orkney islands to Antarctica.

1pm onwards: Reggae Roast Free Entry

Reggae Roast presents the return of Sunday Skank! The full reggae roast crew plus special guests play the best in roots, reggae and dancehall.

3pm: Family Bird Spotting, a walk with Tom McKinney. Free Ticketed Event

Tom McKinney will lead a family bird walk to Regent’s Park and canal as part of Camden Migration. Meet in Delancey Passage at 2:45pm. All ages welcome.

Monday 6th October
Caroline Bergvall: Drift £10

Drift takes you on a journey through time and space, where languages mix, where live percussion meets live voice, where the ancient cohabits with the present. Ancient tales of exile and love re-emerge to shadow today’s lives and losses.

Internationally renowned performer Caroline Bergvall teams up with experimental Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach and Swiss visual artist Thomas Köppel, and together they invent a language of extremes: from the ancient pool of English and Nordic poetry to the lyrics of pop songs and damning human rights reports into contemporary sea migrants’ disaster.


Ghosts of Gone Birds, in the Foundry Room at The Forge

10 day pop-up art studio with a series of artists working at break-neck speed to create an image of every extinct bird within the festival time.

At the Jewish Museum – Abram Games Exhibition Monday 29 September, 2pm: Designing the 20th Century. A curator talk, free with museum entry but booking essential.