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Junk Jam


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Manchester Day Parade (June) and Manchester Jazz Festival (July) 2012.

Cabasa Carnival Arts worked in collaboration with Global Grooves and No Eyed Theatre to present Junk Jam! The project was a spirited multi-arts spectacle for young and old, specialists and novices, artists and community members. With rich colour, fiery energy, vibrant choreography, and provoking masks, Junk Jam 2012 made inventive use of recycled and reclaimed materials to proudly demonstrate the possibilities of community carnival arts.

With recycled materials at the forefront of the vision, the design process meandered both grassy hill and concrete jungle for inspiration, gathering a growing team of local artists to create a specially commissioned performance for two high-profile Manchester based events. The devoted volunteer team shone in learning new skills, working with unfamiliar disciplines, discovering new talents, developing their existing passion, and extending their experience. Volunteers were also given the opportunity to attend a week-long residential workshop with international carnival arts organization ‘Shademakers’, which furthered their knowledge of costume elements, as well as learn to walk with the aerial art they had created.

Cabasa breathed new life into older costume by applying new techniques to transform them into visually stunning creations, proving that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure! With crisp packets, bottle tops, pegs, string, threads, old clothing, unwanted fabrics, cans, wheels, electrical items, traffic cones, pipes, paint tins, chains, newspaper, gas canisters, oil drums…Such recycled materials provided the perfect model for ground breaking eco-friendly carnival work in the Northwest and beyond.

With over a hundred participants, Junk Jam was showcased at several large events in the Northwest, and featured a number of additional guests from Greater Manchester communities who brought even more colour to the project. Workshops with groups in Tameside and Manchester also gave hard-to-reach communities the chance to show off their talents to a wider audience at a high-profile event.