Hitting the Pavement – Stories From Cities in Flux

Hitting the Pavement – Stories From Cities in Flux is a new international collaboration from Words of Colour and Cocoon Creative Lab, with support from Theatre Peckham.

Hitting the Pavement is an artistic exploration of neighbourhoods in the process of gentrification: Brickfields, in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), and Peckham, in London (UK). Two teams of artists, based in Kuala Lumpur and South London, will collaborate to create an interdisciplinary response to themes of place, migration, and the soul of a city.

The Hitting the Pavement artists are Cocoon Creative Lab founder and writer Adriana Nordin Manan, photographer Amin Kamrani, sound artist Mohammed Rowe, and photographer-poet Jamel Alatise.

The idea for the project came from Cocoon Creative Lab’s Adriana Nordin Manan, who reached out to Words of Colour’s Creative Producer, Heather Marks, to collaborate on the project, and Theatre Peckham for support on the selection of artists. Theatre Peckham put forward two artists for the project: Jamel Duane Alatise, Young Peckham Coordinator, and Mohammed Rowe, of Incubate, a black arts collective that hosts a monthly multidisciplinary arts event at the theatre.

On the genus of the project, Manan says:

“As a writer born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, the city and its various intersections with my life have always been an area of interest for me artistically. Through Hitting the Pavement, I wanted to work collaboratively with other artists who also wanted to explore and articulate their (various and complicated) feelings about cities undergoing rapid change.

I wanted to wade into the waters of nostalgia, quiet observation, refining perspectives and making art to hold it all. I love wandering around, so Hitting the Pavement had a lot of emphasis on doing just that.”

Two R&D workshops, which were held in October and November 2022, explored the history and evolution of Brickfields and Peckham. After sharing research, field material, and initial ideas, the Hitting the Pavement artists have created an interdisciplinary collaboration that includes a zine of short fiction, non-fiction and photography essays, a sounded walk that will take listeners around Peckham, and a short poetry film.

Mohammed Rowe, of the Peckham collaboration, says:

“I’m so honoured to be part of the Hitting the Pavement project. Apart from working with a team of such talented and outstanding individuals, it has allowed me to exercise my practice of archival through sound and community engagement in two different vibrant communities.

Hitting the Pavement will showcase each artist and their work at an online event held by Words of Colour and Cocoon Creative Lab in March 2023. More details to come.

About the Artists

Jamel Duane Alatise (b. 1994) is a socially-engaged Artist–Creative, dedicated to storytelling in all its conceits – most notably with photography and poetry, though lately growing as a director and musician. Alatise’s work orbits people, and our innermost worlds: our connections, our memories, and other intimate details. They are also Founder of purposely-slow publication People Journal, and community-driven agency 11 MIRACLES. Jamel and/or their work has featured in Vogue Italia, Today at Apple, HYPEBEAST, Fujifilm Instax, Highsnobiety, Barbican, TATE, Young Vic, Victoria & Albert, Noisey/VICE, and more. They are South London born, raised, and based. jamel.persona.co

Amin Kamrani is an Iranian filmmaker, photographer and activist currently based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As a dissident in exile, his work revolves around the issues of migration, displacement, democracy and freedom of expression.

Adriana Nordin Manan juggles eight professional roles: writer, translator, playwright, researcher, curator, dramaturg, educator and entrepreneur. The layers and dimensions to postcolonialism, diversity, urban chaos and neoliberalism-instigated upheavals keep her alert and constantly seeking to create. Born, raised and based in Kuala Lumpur, she speaks Malay, English and Spanish.

Mohammed Rowe [aka Tekfis (EP)] is an artist born and raised in London, who uses sound as a medium of expression and communication. His works include elements of found sound, experimental and improvised music, and his compositions tend to draw from the immediate environment. He uses an array of processes and recording techniques in order to capture and mould different forms of composition. His approach has also incorporated his sound into interactive installations, moving image, theatre and performance through collaborations with artists from different disciplines. Collaborations with artists from different practices continue to enrich his own approach. www.rowe-mohammed.com