Image 1: Jammer’s Basement, as part of Grime Stories at Museum of London. Curated by Dhelia Snoussi. Photo credit: Richard Stroud/Museum of London. Image 2: Daljinder Johal was recently commissioned as a BBC x Rural Media New Creative to create an audio piece on the menopause. Until it Happens to You by Daljinder explores the funny, sad and stigmatised reality of experiencing the menopause.

Systems Reclaimed

ICF is thrilled to announce the curators selected to develop digital programmes for our Systems Reclaimed Project – Daljinder Johal and Dhelia Snoussi 

Systems Reclaimed is a multi-season project our team is delivering focused on systemic inequality. The project aims to create a platform for creative practitioners to highlight and interrogate specific manifestations of systemic inequality both within and beyond the arts. We will create a sustained and poly-vocal focus on the ways in which inequality is fostered and perpetuated by and within our institutions and within our social fabric.

Dhelia Snoussi’s digital programme for Systems Reclaimed will explore how systemic inequality in the UK can be traced through music history. The season will take as its point of departure a small creative action that took place in West London in 2015 entitled “Mock the Opera”. Mock the Opera was a procession which departed from North Kensington and ended at the Holland Park Opera. The action was organised to protest the disproportionate subsidy received by the local opera in contrast to the disinvestment in local public services at the time, particularly in the less affluent North of the borough. When marchers arrived at Holland Park with drums and placards in hand, they were met with considerable police presence guarding the opera house. However, much to the confusion of police and nervous opera-goers, the marchers held a minute’s silence outside the opera house to commemorate those services and assets that had been lost to lack of funding.

Dhelia will use this creative action as the spine of the digital season and as a starting point from which to look at how patterns of investment in music mirror wider inequality in society. The season will work with residents, musicians, activists and historians from North Kensington to explore this event in local cultural history, and will use the action as a point of departure to explore themes of sound, silence, regeneration and congregation.

For Systems Reclaimed, Daljinder Johal will produce an audio series that shares LBT women, intersex and non-binary people’s journey to parenthood with audio stories capturing their own voices as they share their experiences with listeners. The series will invite you to cast your eyes across a wall of family portraits and hear their stories.

Daljinder is extending an OEPN CALL to invite Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans women or non-binary, intersex people to share insight about their journey to parenthood. Expressions of interest are welcomed from those with other experiences of underrepresentation, including being working-class, a global majority/migrant background or having a disability. Pivotal questions for participants are: How was your experience of medical support? Was it easy navigating the workplace? Or are you currently on this journey and juggling worries about the threat of climate change and economic chaos?

To submit an expression of interest for this open call, please send a short email about yourself to Daljinder at hello@littlestitchproductions.com by 17 December 2022. Participants will be offered a stipend for their time. 

Curators Biographies 

Daljinder Johal (she/her) is a producer, marketer, writer and curator across film, theatre, festivals and audio and is Head of Community at Boundless Theatre. She’s produced BFI Network-funded shorts: Mug for Manchester writer/director Jo Lane, Nottingham-based Dan Shaw’s Hope Ain’t Right and co-producing Fairview Park with Joe Tapp and Tuli Litvak as well as producing Suga Suppiah’s Ratthum in London. She hosts a film night, The Short Cinema’s Show & Tell, at Phoenix Leicester and is the Midlands freelance marketer for BFI Fan New Releases.

For theatre, she’s produced the playwright and theatre maker Erinn Dhesi’s work, including her 4-star show, Wigs Snatched, Perceptions Destroyed, to win a VAULT 2020 Award, with funding from Arts Council England and StageOne. She’s produced festivals including as a Festival Producer for a new socially-distant, cross-genre, outdoor festival, Little But LIVE in Moseley Park and worked at others including the European Independent Film Festival and ArtReach’s Journeys Festival International. For audio, she is a BBC x Rural Media New Creative, producing a 15-minute audio piece on the menopause.

She’s undertaken extensive mentoring and producing training with Roundhouse London, Wise Children, China Plate Theatre, StageOne and with the BFI Creative Producers School 2020 for Kato Pictures.

Dhelia Snoussi is a British-Algerian curator, film-maker and researcher from West London. She is currently Youth Culture Curator at the Museum of London, working on the Museum’s contemporary collecting project, Curating London. In 2022, Dhelia was selected for the Jerwood Curatorial Accelerator, a curatorial development programme for curators from working class backgrounds, supported by Jerwood Arts. Previously, she worked as a researcher, authoring ‘We Are Ghosts: Race, Class and Institutional Prejudice’, for CLASS and the Runnymede Trust.

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