We were thrilled to be chosen as one of a handful of local arts organisation to perform at the Foundation Celebration, a milestone event in the building of Oxford University‘s new Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities on Tuesday 19th September 2023.
Set to be complete in 2025, the Schwarzman Centre will give Oxford University’s humanities a new home with state-of-the-art academic and research spaces. As well as this, it will also house their new Institute for Ethics in AI which aims to lead the study of the ethical implications of artificial intelligence and other new computing technologies.
Excitingly, there will also be several major new performance venues for the arts – including a 500-seat concert hall, a 250-seat theatre and a 100-seat Black Box space for creating and delivering experimental performances.
New spaces for the arts are always cause for celebration!
So, for our performance we wanted to highlight the power of art and the importance of building arts spaces for culture and communities, while giving a flavour of the dynamic and visceral social justice theatre that defines Justice in Motion. Working with CODE rapper Marcus ‘Matic Mouth’ Smith and composer Quentin Lachapele, we wrote and recorded a piece of bespoke rap music about the Schwarzman Centre and the power of the arts. To go alongside this, we devised a corresponding piece of theatre mashing up imagery from our latest shows ON EDGE about modern slavery in the construction industry and CODE about county lines and knife crime – using their disciplines of parkour and trials bike.
The performance featured Artistic Director Anja Meinhardt (her first time performing parkour live!) and performers George Mayfield and Owen Gawthorpe, who gave a parkour and trials bike demo beforehand to explain their disciplines.
We were delighted with the reception the performance got from the audience, and are very excited for the impact the Schwarzman Centre will have on the arts in Oxford and beyond. Bring on 2025!