NEWS: Ritournelle @ St John The Baptist Church | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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‘Ritournelle’ is a musical term deriving from Italian that means ‘to return’. In English, we might think of it as a chorus or hook, but in French it often refers to catchy tunes. Philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari related the term to territory. So perhaps it’s little surprise that French-Algerian artist Katia Kameli uses the term to describe her new work, a sensory experience that links place to Newcastle’s migrant communities.

Ritournelle (once more, from the top) is the outcome of a residency at Newcastle’s St John The Baptist church which includes strong participatory elements from the wider community. Working with the church’s plain glass windows, Kameli uses coloured film within the panes in patterns that echo the countries from which migrants often relocate to Newcastle, from Punjabi Phulkari textiles to Iraqi mosaic designs. In the accompanying sound installation, Kameli invited migrants and refugees from across the city alongside members of the church’s choir to sing tunes that reminded them of home, putting their voices at the forefront. The overall effect is a vibrant and thought-provoking exploration of the city’s cultural diversity. Much like a French ritournelle, it’s likely to stay with you for some time.

Katia Kameli’s Ritournelle is at St John The Baptist Church in Newcastle until Monday 15th January.

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