Mara Menzies in action at FVC
Mara Menzies wows staff and students with compelling performance
Events celebrating Black History Month are now well underway at Forth Valley College and inspirational storyteller Mara Menzies was the latest to entertain and inform, with her compelling performance on Wednesday 6 October.
Individual staff, partner organisations and whole class groups tuned in for the hour long Zoom call show, which also incorporated an illuminating questions and answer session.
Born in Scotland and brought up both in Edinburgh and Kenya, Mara draws on a rich history of cultural storytelling and delivers entertaining and passionate tales while at the same time raising moral questions relevant to everyone and skilfully addresses, calls out and faces up to the issues of prejudice and racism.
Mara – who has performed her own show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – also read directly from her book ‘Blood and Gold: A Journey of Shadows’ where she has created worlds that explore contemporary issues through legend, myth and fantasy. With her own vision of the beauty, history and aspirations of people of African heritage, she fuses ancient and modern in an intoxicating experience.
Mara’s performances have been heralded by many. She has been described as having “choreographic grace and mesmerising delivery”, by the Guardian and performances that are “glittering, beautiful, disturbing”, by the Scotsman. For more information on Mara visit https://www.marathestoryteller.com/ .
Monica Medina, FVC’s Diversity Coordinator, Monica Medina, said: “Celebration is the central idea of our Black History Month events and this year’s theme, Proud to be Me, really highlights how our race is an integral part of who we are and how we experience life.
“This year we have the privilege of hosting Mara Menzies, storyteller, who through use of tales old and new we can explore the contemporary effects of colonialism and slavery, and what an excellent performance she gave us.
“We also have an amazing range of materials which have been created by our Media students that explore similar themes in personal ways. The Student Association will be holding a Show Racism the Red Card event which challenges prejudice through the unifying pleasure of football. I hope that you can incorporate some small change within your own remit at the College to broaden our work behind Black History Month whether that is taking part in the storytelling event, signing a pledge, including Black stories in the curriculum or opening up conversations around racism.”