Speaking without Voice wins National Lottery Support

Date: 15/10/2018

A project exploring four Nigerian pre-colonial nonverbal communication systems: Aroko, Nsibidi, Uli and the Talking Drums, made possible by money raised by National Lottery players awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)

IROKO Theatre Company is delighted to announce that it has received a National Lottery grant of £97,300 for an exciting heritage project, ‘Speaking without Voice’, based in Newham, London. Made possible by money raised by National Lottery   

players awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the research project will focus on a variety of Nigerian precolonial nonverbal communication systems, their British-Nigerian historical context, modern usage, and especially how young British-Nigerians are using the heritage to underpin their cultural identity.

Speaking without Voice will offer training and volunteering opportunities to approximately ninety-five people who wish to gain research, heritage and music technology skills. The project’s research findings will be shared with members of the public through workshops, exhibitions and performances at The British Museum, various schools, libraries and also through digital means.

Nigerian precolonial nonverbal communication systems are valued because they portray a heritage that have been used over the centuries to inform, advise, motivate or to incite community involvement.  The overwhelming lack of knowledge and understanding amongst people of the existence of the heritage, including its historical connections to Britain, makes the heritage of immense importance. 

Commenting on the award, Alex Oma-Pius, Founder and Artistic Director of IROKO Theatre Company said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident that the project will help to raise awareness about the relatively unknown aspect of Nigerian heritage and its Nigerian-British history.” 

About IROKO Theatre Company

IROKO Theatre Company use African theatre arts and heritage, incorporating oral storytelling, drama, music, dance, arts and craft, as a vehicle to advance education, skills, health and wellbeing of members of the public. To achieve this, we conduct research, exhibitions, workshops, performances, and provide resources and accredited training programmes.  Our aim is to raise awareness, preserve and enhance knowledge of African arts, culture and heritage by taking our work to the wider community.

About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery

Further information

For further information, images and interviews please contact:

Alex Oma-Pius,
Artistic Director,
T: 020 8522 1950, 07802 346 022
E: aop96@irokotheatre.org.uk
Follow us on:Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Contact us now for bookings and more information.

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