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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA


Manchester International Festival (MIF) is delighted to announce the appointment of Manchester based theatre maker and poet, Chanje Kunda, as MIF’s representative on the National Freelance Task Force, set up to strengthen the influence of the self-employed who make up a large and vital part of the performance sector.

The Freelance Task Force will create ongoing points of connection between freelancers, organisations, funders and government, and will amplify the collective voice of the self-employed in conversations to come.

Chanje has performed alongside the likes of Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson and produced and toured three full length plays, Superposition, Plant Fetish and Amsterdam. In 2017 she became one of the first Jerwood Fellows, an MIF and Jerwood Arts creative development programme providing access and insight into how we create international Festival work whilst helping artists develop their own practice.

Following the forced cancellation of the tour of her new show Plant Fetish earlier this year, Chanje became the first of 35 Greater Manchester artists to be supported to develop work during the lockdown, as part of Manchester International Festival’s response to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the creative community. Her piece TOILET ROLL GATE RETROSPECTIVE was presented as the first all-digital, online-only Festival in My House… And Yours.

Chanje said, “As a performance artist with a national tour cancelled due to the pandemic, I felt I wanted to do something to save the arts and culture industry. It has a special place in the world that makes everyday existence more magical. I know how hard freelancers work, from performers to stage managers to lighting and sound designers. To be representing freelancers on the national task force, for MIF and freelancers in our region, is an absolute honour and I want to champion our voices and be part of the team helping it to survive and thrive again.”

Following a jointly signed letter sent out in May in support of freelancers in the performance sector, MIF joins over 140 organisations nationwide committing to paying a freelancer for one day a week for three months, from June to August, who so far include everyone from directors to technicians, composers to costume designers, production managers to puppet-makers – and more.

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