Support JAAG Panjabi & Pahari Lang & Lit Festival

by Jaag Festival 2024 in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Total raised £985

£5,000 target 14 days left
19% 20 supporters
Keep what you raise – this project will receive all pledges made by 4th June 2024 at 9:29pm

Support JAAG, the world's 1st Panjabi & Pahari-Pothwari Lang & Lit Festival, for its 2nd edition. A day of warmth, learning and sharing.

by Jaag Festival 2024 in Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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Dear Friends,

We hope this message finds you well.

As we are organising the upcoming JAAG: Panjabi & Pahari-Pothwari Language and Literature Festival 2024, we come to you with honesty and transparency about our current situation and aspirations. 

JAAG emerged in response to a growing desire amongst young people to (re)connect with languages, literatures and cultures that have been lost due to the legacies of colonialism, migration and class aspiration. Meanwhile, we have found that older generations who were caught up in struggle and survival, are also keen to share their experiences, languages and knowledge. This shouldn’t be a one-way exchange however. There’s a lot we can continue to learn from young people, particularly as they confront and call out everyday exclusions and oppressions. We can’t inherit the past uncritically.

In this context, we set out to create a unique and much-needed intergenerational and intercultural space, platforming Panjabi & Pahari-Pothwari Language and Literature. Rather than performing for the mainstream, we wanted to use this specific focus to go deeper - amplifying lesser-known voices and marginalised perspectives while interrogating the ways in which we relate to our languages, literatures, cultures and each other. While honouring our emotional connection to these fragile and precious languages and literatures that are so often devalued, we wanted to go beyond simple nostalgia and celebration to also consider how and who these languages and literatures might hurt.

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The resounding success of our inaugural JAAG festival, held in the heart of the Handsworth community in May 2023, filled us with joy and gratitude. The day jam-packed with talks, discussions, workshops and performances, welcomed over 300 people across different ages, religions, nationalities and socio-economic backgrounds in collective conversation and resistance. 

As we came together to learn across our similarities and differences, we didn’t brush over hierarchies. Instead, we tried to face and centre these with compassion and self-reflection to form meaningful connections, deeper solidarities and long-term collaborations. We loved the enthusiasm and warmth that was apparent throughout the day. It confirmed our belief that there is an interest in, even thirst for, physical spaces of connection and learning across generations and communities that allow for nuance and critique alongside celebration.

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As we look ahead to JAAG Festival 2024, taking place on Saturday 22nd June, we acknowledge the violence and trauma we have witnessed unfolding across the world, from Palestine to Sudan. This year’s festival centres resistance and solidarity through art and writing, along with focusing on mental health, neurodivergence and well-being as inseparable from structural inequality and oppression. We are excited at the prospect of another day filled with impactful talks, discussions, workshops and performances, bringing together academics, writers, performers, activists and filmmakers doing meaningful work, from Birmingham, the UK, and across the world. We have endeavoured to keep ticket prices reasonable and free for those for whom fees might be an obstacle, as well as centring other access needs. Our intention is to offer our communities the thoughtful, high quality event that they deserve. 

Amidst our excitement for JAAG 2024, we also find ourselves faced with the sobering reality of financial constraints. The funding we have received ensures that the festival will take place and all speakers, performers and participants will be remunerated. But our resources have been stretched thin. As a small team organising the festival, we have found ourselves putting in extensive unpaid labour in order to share our dream, to bring our vision to life - one that, it became clear to us last year, you also believe in and desire. Furthermore, we would like to bring additional members into our team in the weeks leading up to the festival. Although JAAG relies on goodwill, in the context of the current cost-of-living crisis, we are determined that everyone who works with us is compensated fairly.

We also seek support to bring the talented community artist, Saajan Gill, and his powerful work to JAAG 2024. It would be a great privilege for us to launch his multimedia outdoor exhibition, ‘Reflections Gallery’, which has been created and curated within the heart of the Handsworth community over five incredibly challenging years. Despite a recent setback with an Arts Council Grant application, we are delighted that Saajan, continuing to draw on his passion and persistence, intends to go ahead with the project. 

So we reach out to you, recognising the transformative power of collective action. JAAG is a community space, and you are the JAAG community; whether you’ve attended our events in the past or intend to do so in the future, or you simply recognise the value and urgency of our work. Wherever you are in the world, we rely on your encouragement, engagement, feedback and material support.  Your donation, no matter the amount, will make a tangible difference in our ability to continue our work of curating the meaningful events that our communities crave.

With warmth and gratitude,

The JAAG Team

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

JAAG Well-Wisher

• JAAG t-shirt • Polaroid photograph of you by Saajan • Your name featured in the programme booklet & displayed on screens at the festival venue (optional)

£100 or more

JAAG Cheerleader

• JAAG t-shirt • JAAG tote bag • JAAG A3 programme poster • Polaroid photograph of you by Saajan • Your name featured in the programme booklet & displayed on screens at the festival venue (optional)

£250 or more

JAAG Enthusiast

• Ticket to JAAG Festival 2024 • JAAG hoodie • JAAG tote bag • JAAG A3 programme poster • Limited edition hardback compilation of poems and photographs from Reflections Gallery (exhibition by Saajan) • Print of a photograph from Reflections Gallery • Polaroid photograph of you by Saajan • Your name featured in the programme booklet & displayed on screens at the festival venue (optional)

£500 or more

JAAG Aficionado

• 2 tickets to JAAG 2024 • JAAG hoodie • JAAG tote bag • Framed JAAG A3 programme poster • Limited edition hardback compilation of poems & photographs from Reflections Gallery (exhibition by Saajan) • Print of a photo from Reflections Gallery • Polaroid photo of you by Saajan • Your name featured in the programme booklet & displayed on screens at the festival (optional) • Two autographed books by writers/poets from JAAG 2024 (optional)

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