Euro-Mernet has joined forces with the organisers of the Crossing the Teas project when they formally launched it last year. The core project team were inspired by the cultural heritage project notes left behind by the late artist and community worker Irene Mensah (1963-2013) who had wished to materialise a project to highlight the cultural importance of tea.
Crossing the Teas is run by ART:sync, funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund, and is in partnership with the Centre for Memories, Narrative and History at the University of Brighton; Brighton & Hove City Libraries; BMECP; BandBazi; Brighton Dome; CUPP; Euro-Mernet; Active Student, Brighton & Hove Museums and Urbanflo Creative.
Crossing the Teas project comprised of a combination of performance-based oral history techniques and photo exhibitions. Throughout the first half of this year, there were tea workshops led by groups of people from diverse cultural backgrounds such as Iran, China, Sudan, Japan and Cornwall. The tea workshops have created a lively environment where participants and guests had the opportunity to demonstrate and perform different cultural practices around the shared custom of drinking tea.
The project also provided an opportunity for local community groups from diverse cultural backgrounds to share and learn about the tea drinking customs, histories, traditions and stories of their own and each other’s cultures.
On Sunday 21st June 2015, all the groups will be celebrating and sharing what they’ve learnt by throwing a Big Tea Party for the public. The next day, the Oral History and Photographic Exhibition will open at Brighton Library and at the end of the month the University of Brighton will be holding a seminar to discuss the findings.
For more information on the project, you can visit their website and follow the project news updates on Twitter: @crossingtheteas