Turner Contemporary mark the anniversary of the Zong Massacre with experimental musical work Crossing Over

PUBLISHED: 09:54 04 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:54 04 November 2016

Turner Contemporary. Credit: Visit Kent

Turner Contemporary. Credit: Visit Kent


it will be the work’s premiere and will be performed by 50 singers, mobile telephones and electronics

Turner Contemporary mark the anniversary of the Zong Massacre with the world premiere of experimental musical work Crossing Over.

The world premiere of Crossing Overby composer and sound artist Emily Peasgood is to be performed by 50 singers, mobile telephones and electronics.

Marking the anniversary of the mass murder of 133 enslaved African on the slave ship Zong in 1781, which JMW Turner painted in 1840, and inspired in part by John Akomfrah’s Vertigo Sea, Crossing Over will reference the transatlantic slave trade, the current refugee crisis and the crossing over of migration into the United Kingdom.

Crossing Over explores the theme of ‘home’. The lyrics are inspired by those who cross the sea in search of a new home, the story of a local man who travelled to England as a refugee in 1997, and what home means to each and every one of us. Audiences will be invited to experience Crossing Over blindfolded, to hear but not see this immersive work, which aims to replicating the darkness of travelling at night on a small boat across the ocean, or in the depths of a slave ship.

Composer Ms Peasgood views Crossing Over as a “vehicle” to explore views about migration through its musical content and the act of forming and performing with a united, cross-cultural community choir, some of whom have experienced migration themselves.

She says: “Inits simplest form, home is asense of belonging. Whether it is within a family, a community or a building, home is a place we can call our own. Home is also astate of mind and a freedom; knowing that there is a placewhere we can simply be. There is debate at present about people who, for reasons beyond their control, do not have a home and do not ‘belong’ because of the borders that surround our country. Scores of people are risking their lives and crossing oceans in unsafe boats, leaving one home to find a better and safer home for their families and children. Crossing Over symbolises the feeling of not knowingwhere you might end up, but also of unity and hope.”

Members of the public are invited to submit audio voice recordings for inclusion in the premiere performance, answering the question: “What does home mean to you?” For further information and to submit, please email by 15th November 2016.

The premiere will be at Turner Contemporary, Margate on November 29 at 4pm.

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