The Platform Conference 4th & %th March 2023, organised by visionary Farhana Shaikh of Dahlia Publishing, an author, publisher, editor, mentor and literary activist, and brilliant conference organiser, based in Leicester. The Platform Conference, was an astounding success, offering important Topics, Panel Speakers, Workshops, with excellent Writers, Black and Asian, with national and international profiles and reach.
The collective and individual, range, the diverse backgrounds, expertise, insights, and success of all these Writers was truly remarkable! There were a large number of Conference attendees, with good questions and positive comments. Farhana is to be highly commended, for putting together such an instructive, informative, inspiring, wholly affirming event – which was accessible online.
Carol Leeming MBE FRSA, was most pleased to be a Panel Member with Wonderfull Writers Gita Raleigh, AM Dassu. Our topic was Finding Your Way as a Writer. We all talked about our individual journeys, and Farhana ably feed in key questions around e.g. about voice, how to nurture your writing craft, how do we sustain ourselves, in a predominately white male publishing literary world.
Wolde Selaise: RIP Honoured by Leicester City Lord Mayor as Special Citizen for Contribution to the Community
On the 28th February 2023, at Leicester Town Hall, Wolde Selaisse’s Family members were delighted, along with Carol Leeming MBE FRSA to attend Afternoon Tea, with George Cole the Lord Mayor of Leicester. To receive the award, the honour of a certificate, for Wolde Selaisee RIP for his special contribution to the community of Leicester. Wolde Selaisse, is most fondly remembered, and was an active member and organiser, in the African Caribbean Community.
Wolde undertook many different roles, with many achievements, in service of the community. Wolde was a strong, political community activist for many years. As well as being an accomplished poet, performer, and teacher for what her termed Africology and Black History. With other roles,, Lecturer, in Academia, Curator, Archivist and Entrepreneur.
Wolde was a committed Rastafarian, and well-travelled, visiting Jamaica as a poet and as an Ambassador to Zimbabwe and South Africa for Rastafarian organisations. To assist in community activities in those countries. Wolde conducted African libations ceremonies, and was a champion for Black Arts, Artists regionally at Arts Training Central, and Mainstream Partnership, also nationally eg as Caribbean Focus Coordinator for Leicester.
A First for Leicester 2Funky SPACE JAM Afro-Futuristic Themed Promenade Performance Is A Resounding Success for Carol Leeming MBE FRSA Creative Director & Team!
The 2 Funky Space Jam, was Afro-Futuristic themed, with cosmic galactic touches, a promenade performance event March 2nd 2023. It was a fantastic event with. Carol Leeming, Creative Director, Vijay Mistry Project Director and Sam Warren Project Manager, & a brilliant Leicester based Creative Team: of LVT Spoken Word/Rapper, Helder Delgado & Partner, Dancers, DJ’s Ninja Bob,& Wardy (Club Oxygen) Experimental Sound Artists John Richards of Dirty Electronics, Leonie Dubarry -Gurr, Callum Vaughn & Johnny Digital Visual Artists, and live Band Ka Sa Far lead by Lee Boyd Allotson..
The Team all delivered an amazing multi-disciplinary arts experience, for a large enthusiastic diverse audience. The event was designed as a journey, with different stations of performance with invitations at each station, for the audience attendees to actually participate, to vocalise, dance of make experimental music etc. In fact the music jam, at the end of Ka Sa Far music band performance was stupendous. as up to 50 audience members, were invited to take up djembes, samba drums and percussion shakers, for massive music jam which was well synchronised.afterwards at the after party a dance circle formed with a ‘street style’ dance off . Such was the high level of fun and enjoyment, audience members asked when will the next one be. As this event, was a wholly unique multi-arts experience for Leicester, made possible by different funding sources and various local partners in the city.
Photo: Carol Leeming & Others In Rehearsal with Director Ruth Mariner at The Royal Albert Hall for the 2022 Prom 60 The Dream Prom
Carol Leeming MBE FRSA, Director Lead Artist of Dare to Diva company, often gets asked what is it exactly that she actually does? As she is described by academics as a polymath…NB Phased project activities are done as freelancer i.e. not all at the same time lol!! Carol remains hopeful to continue to work her own lane…as well as champion Leicester and East Midlands Black, and other excluded and /marginalised artists/creatives. See below a selection of Carol’s 2022 key highlights/successful achievements she is proud of. With thanks for all those who have commissioned, booked and/ or collaborated with Carol she is looking forward to further exciting projects in 2023!!!
Curator: Black Curriculum Resources: Black British Arts music visual arts & books for City Classroom (Online) & Seminar for School Heads Teachers & Arts Practitioners Curve Theatre Leicester https://www.cityclassroom.org/resources
Panel Speaker: Common Threads Conference Black British Women’s Writing Brighton Subject East Midlands Black Women Writers
Performer: Role of Gospel Singer: Art Film Congregation by Artist Alberta Whittle, Screened part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games programme & Stephen Lawrence Centre Screening at the Venue De Montfort University Leicester
Workshop Leader: Apples & Snakes Video Comission Health & Well-Being for Poets Nottingham Poetry Festival Online
Carol Leeming was commissioned thy in Her Strength Company, to produce sound design for recorded filmed monologues and for live sound design for R&D Scratch performance of Monologues on the theme of Women & Homelessness to a specially invited audience with Q& A afterwards at the Y Theatre Leicester.
Carol Leeming MBE FRSA lead an East Midlands Women’s Award Shine Network Session talking about leadership, self care health and well being. As well as highlighting key milestones in her own creative business journey and the lessons learned, and shared valuable insights with members gathered. It was also an opportunity for her to talk about the East Midlands Women’s Awards and how it can benefit women, as Carol was a previous winner of the Outstanding Women in Arts Media & Music Award. Just how this benefits a woman’s self esteem , confidence and your business overall
‘Writers Mosaic an initiative of the Royal Literary Fund, is an excellent, prestigious online platform for new writing from a mosaic of literary voices, cultures across the UK that aims to be surprising, moving an magical. The platform showcases writer profiles through authored talks, creative exchanges and interviews. using images illustrations, commissioned by an editorial team of writers who bring their own blend of curiosity, excitement, and cultural and critical engagement’ (Writers Mosaic Website)
Writers Mosaic organised an event in Leicester, hosted by Director of Writers Mosaic, author Colin Grant. The Event was very well attended and featured the highly celebrated and accomplished poet author, Anthony Joseph with his musicians, alongside Leicester/shire based Carol Leeming poet/playwright, Kerry Young author and Farhana Shaikh author and publisher.
Carol Leeming was co -host with Melanie Abrahams Renaissance One, for the Literary Leicester finale Event titled M’Duck Writers Changing Leicester, Leicester University Peter Williams Lecture theatre which commemorated, the lives of Leicester based Writers Jean Binta Breeze, Sue Townsend and Graham Joyce. In particular Carol gave her own personal recollections, memories, as well outlining the overall impact and inspiration, of both Sue Townsend and Jean Binta Breeze regarding herself and many other writers. Poets and Musician performed warm heartfelt tributes for poet and author, Jean Binta Breeze who sadly passed last year. They were Carol Leeming, Bobba Cass with Paulo Carnoth, Marcus Joseph, Mellow Baku, Showcase Smoothie and Lydia Towsey..
March 8th, 2022 Carol Leeming MBE took on the role of Gospel Singer, for celebrated artist Alberta Whittle’s new film Congregation, filmed in the lovely Birmingham Cathedral. A beautiful powerful film that looks at the ‘hostile environment’ of racism in the UK and its impact. Along with healing and self care strategies that are available and employed by communities e.g. community gardening and growing food. The launch film screening commissioned and hosted by Grand Union Arts, was well attended by leading members from the community along with a host of Birmingham artists and creatives.
Carol Leeming directed the wonderful new play by Acquah Company both for its successful five night run in London Bread & Roses theatre. As well as its debut at Curve theatre Leicester Sat March 12th . The play featured live women musicians and music, along with African pottery clay making on stage. The Leicester diverse audience included many local Ghanians including royalty, the Queen Mother Nana, of the Ghanians in Leicester. As well as Twi language as part of the narrative text – which was particularly enjoyed by the those Ghanians in the audience.