- School/Institute/Department: School of English and Drama
- Subjects: Drama, Performance, Creative Evaluation, Bangla
- Audience: Bangladeshi Communities, Tower Hamlets Aera
Queen Mary University of London have been long-time supporters of the Season of Bangla Festival in Tower Hamlets. The festival features a month long programme of drama and performance, regularly attracting up to 5000 in local audiences, through a programme co-curated by QMUL Reader in Drama, Ali Campbell.
This relationship links QMUL with the festival by providing talks and debate through a series of events discussing Bangla identity, as well as providing a range of venues on campus to host activities as part of the local festival.
In the festivals QMUL drama students also devise and test forms of embedded evaluation whereby each work with a participating company. These enable participants to identify priorities for their own professional development, youth participation and international exchange, as well as to reflect on the Festival and its significance both as a cultural hub for Bangladeshi communities and as a locus for economic activity and capacity building impacting on year-round social enterprise.
Students then bring initial findings together to create short documentary films, used for showcasing the event and for further fundraising, matched with “Long Table” evaluations. The short documentary from 2013 'What Is Bangla?' is publically available here, with the most recent film from the 2015 event available here.
QM involvement has resulted in the building of a productive, ongoing relationship with the local Bangladeshi cultural community and in an invitation to Ali Campbell to share best practice at the University of Dhaka.