Lifestyle, Manchester

Students shine at Manchester Met’s Faculty Fest

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By Emily Oldfield

Manchester Metropolitan University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities recently put on a wide-ranging celebration of student work in a two-day Faculty Fest. The university’s Arts and Humanities Faculties have recently joined together, and thus, the festival provided an opportunity to explore and celebrate the new interdisciplinary relationships that have formed as a result. The creative collaborations that formed the festival line-up included spoken word, fine art, creative writing, film, fashion, installations, design and music.

Stalls and pop-ups included a display of work from The Post Silver, a group of photography students with their own zine. Other standholders included the university’s Multi-Faith Dialogues, Left Overs with their degree-show fundraiser of prints and Digital Media and Marketing BA displays. There was also the opportunity to sample camel milk ice cream and halal sushi, as developed and presented by students.

Guest speaker at the event was Mike Garry, a poet, performer, and author of collections including God is a Manc. Garry had previously studied at Manchester Met, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Library and Information Studies and has since received the title Doctor of Education, in recognition of his continued work promoting literacy, reading and engagement with young people across the UK. Speaking to Humanity Hallows after the event, he said, “I loved the festival. It was a feast of youthful passions and ice cream! Poetry should carry the same status as prayer: three poems a day will keep the evil spirits away.”

Student Rebeca Elgueta, who also performed, said: “[My tutor] asked me if I would perform the poem I had created for my group project, which was on culture. I agreed because I felt it would be a good opportunity and a chance to showcase my work for the project. I was actually quite nervous about it though. I’d never been to an event like that before, or read a poem out like that, but everyone was so nice and it created a friendly atmosphere which definitely made the whole experience more enjoyable.”

The participating venues on campus continued to display student work from across disciplines throughout the evening providing exclusive access to emerging talent. Organiser and Engaged Curriculum Intern in the Department of English Tiffany Bowman said, “We wanted to create an event that would bring together staff and students in order to encourage interdisciplinary relationships across the University. This is a great chance for all students to see what the Faculty has to offer, and to network with other students who might be interested in working together.”

She added, “I think that’s the main reason why the festival is so important – it provides a platform for new work, and encourages the students to collaborate with people from other subjects.”

The Faculty Fest also incorporated a series of events at venues across the campus, with a focus on the themes of identity and diversity. These events included an interfaith dialogue led by Rabbi Warren Elf, film screenings, a Woman United talk discussing Reclaim the Night led by Mia Shepherd from Manchester Met’s Feminist Society, and a presentation from a Syrian refugee, organised through Engaging The Humanities. The event also included an exclusive lecture entitled ‘Sense of Place’ by Michael Coates, an introduction to Psycho-geography.

The festival highlighted the rich array of student work across disciplines. Through celebrating the work created by the Faculty of Art and Humanities, Faculty Fest showcased the importance of new interdisciplinary relationships.

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