Faye Claridge Approaches Controversial Subject

22nd August 2017

Visitors to this year’s Shrewsbury Folk Festival from 25-28 August will find Faye Claridge’s new art project The Village Green Screen waiting to collect their thoughts on a contentious issue: the ‘Black Face’ tradition of Morris Dancing.

Model of planned artwork using astroturf and a bench


Responding to public debates about the roots of this tradition and its validity in the modern age, Claridge launches her project at Shrewsbury’s popular festival, creating a unique ‘green screen’ booth out of Astroturf, where participants will have their opinions recorded.
 
Claridge, whose father was a Morris dancer, grew up in multicultural Birmingham, she says, “It’s not surprising Morris dancers blacking their faces is being questioned (again) now. During Brexit negotiations and mass global migration tensions are high. Within traditions I’m hearing people doubt age-old assumptions and I’m seeing reactions from people feeling their values and rights are under threat. YouTube is being used to share anger, offer explanations and as a place for people to comment, often with strong emotions attached.”
 
The Village Green Screen will travel to other venues: watch out for further announcements coming soon.

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