Tales from the Front Line

2 June 2020

Using verbatim interviews from Black front line key and essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Talawa Theatre Company are creating anonline record featuring six brand new short pieces which detail their lives and experiences, and the pandemic's impact on them.

The pandemic has had a starkly divergent impact on communities; Black people are four times more likely to die from Covid-19, according to Public Health England’s figures.

  • What has been learned, challenged and changed forever?
  • What might life in the UK look like in a year’s time for Black British communities?

Tales from the Front Line will document the contribution of Black workers at the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, creating a lasting historical record. It will explore their relationships with British society and how the pandemic has challenged their perceptions of belonging, especially in the wake of the Windrush Scandal and the global Black Lives Matter movement.

With humour and hope, Tales from the Front Line will be an interrogation of the society that is being impacted greatest by Covid-19, and the society that will emerge from it.

Creative Team

Artistic Director: Michael Buffong

DoP & Editor: Moses Ssebandeke

Producer: Alison Holder

  • Michael Buffong, Artistic Director, Talawa Theatre Company

    "If not for Covid-19, we would find our lives dominated by BREXIT and the Windrush scandal. Covid-19 has exposed the fact those people most affected by these hostilities are the ones who are keeping the country alive, sustained and functioning. We want to gather and share these powerful stories from the front line to ensure that these contributions by Black British people cannot be erased from the historical record."

  • Talawa are speaking to people from a wide spectrum of key and frontline workers, including Transport for London employees, supermarket staff, teachers, teaching assistants, social care workers and delivery drivers, and draws contributors from Talawa’s Croydon home and from across the UK.

    The interviews are intended to provide a space for these workers to share their experiences, and articulate their concerns and hopes for the future.

    Artists will be given the freedom to use the testimonies to create a dramatised work featuring music, photography, movement, soundscapes and animations – whatever they feel best conveys the story.

    With support from Croydon Council’s Culture Relief Fund, Tales from the Front Line will be available on Talawa’s website in Autumn 2020.

  • Our name, Talawa, comes from a Jamaican patois term and means strong

    "me lickle but me Talawa"

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