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5th Jul, 2022

DNA stories festival event inspired by professor's research

RESEARCH into the experiences of families affected by genetically inherited conditions by a Warwick Medical School professor has inspired a spoken word festival event.

DNA: Our Stories takes place at the Helen Martin Studio, Warwick Arts Centre, on Saturday (January 22) at 6.30pm, as part of the University of Warwick’s year-long Resonate Festival celebrating Coventry City of Culture.

This open, free event – part of the festival’s Being Human series – uses spoken word and poetry to explore what it is to be human in an age of advancing genomic medicine, and is one of a number of creative projects reflecting the research of Professor Felicity Boardman.

The Warwick Medical School professor has been exploring the lived experiences of families affected by inherited genetic conditions such as Haemophilia, Thalassaemia, Cystic Fibrosis, Fragile-X syndrome and Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Touring art installation, I: DNA, was created directly from this research. It comprised of a large helix sculpture, a film, and an audio soundtrack, using the direct words and views of people affected by genetic conditions speaking about their lives.

The poetry event began with a writing workshop at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum last December where creative writers, of all degrees of experience, were invited to share their ideas and reactions to I:DNA, which was staged at the gallery last year, with the support of published poet Nigel Hutchinson.

Writers and poets are also invited to be part of the event on January 22 and those who would like to contribute are asked to contact catherine@stamproductions.co.uk The themes of the work are based on identity, individuality and DNA.

Works produced during and following the writing workshop will be collated by Hutchinson and published in an anthology, to be made available both online and in hard copy.

Writers will share this work at the performance event of poetry live music and spoken word on January 22 with BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio broadcaster Sandra Godley as MC. It will also be live streamed, so that participants from across the world will be able to make contributions.

Professor Boardman said: “This spoken word event is an exciting opportunity to use poetry as a creative gateway into the world of genetics and screening, and to consider the impacts it has, and will have in the future, for all members of our society.”

DNA: Our Stories is produced by Stamp Productions, www.stamproductions.co.uk, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Catherine Elliott-Kemp, of Stamp Productions, said: “We have been thrilled at the response to the installation and the research that inspired it. The poetry workshops produced some fascinating work – even within a short time – and we look forward to receiving more writing and hearing more at the event at Warwick Arts Centre.”

Tickets are free but registration is required. For more details and how to book visit www.resonatefestival.co.uk/events/dna-our-stories-spoken-word-event

 

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