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The on-stage performances in our FREEDOM Season explore a whole range of subjects, from crime and justice to immigration and tyranny. As these themes are still so relevant, both socially and politically, we have arranged a whole programme of events around the Season to allow people to come along and explore the topics in more detail.
Beginning on Mon 3 June a series of talks, discussions and debates will take place to look at some of the issues raised within the operas and show how they are still impacting on so many people today. We have engaged a number of high-profile experts in their fields to chair these sessions, along with panellists who can add their own experiences and take questions from the floor. WNO is working with a series of local, national and international partners to host and inform these events: Amnesty International, Welsh Refugee Council, Cardiff University School of Modern Languages, Chapter Arts Centre, Children’s Commission for Wales, National Assembly for Wales, Oasis Cardiff, University of South Wales, Wales Millennium Centre and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs.
We would encourage you to come along and delve deeper into subjects including modern slavery, freedom of speech, Amnesty International’s Refugees Welcome campaign, crime and justice and the rights of a child where you can discover the work that is being done locally in these areas as well as finding out more about the global situation.
Another area of the FREEDOM Season is an immersive exhibition, using virtual reality, augmented reality and film to give you an up-close-and-personal insight into the human stories behind the headlines. Five experiences will be located throughout the foyer at Wales Millennium Centre, giving visitors unique experiences of some very different worlds. You can take on a character having to make potentially life and death decisions (Terminal 3); observe the world through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor (The Last Goodbye), and see how a schoolboy whose life was turned upside down by war has created an incredible vision of the future (Future Aleppo). Then we have two completely new pieces of work: WNO have teamed up with BBC Cymru Wales on a specially created immersive installation inspired by the personal stories of refugees who have made their way to Wales and WNO Filmmaker in Residence, Carys Lewis, working with Syrian artist Kinana Issa, has produced a film on the themes of liberation and captivity.
WNO will also be working with local schoolchildren on a project inspired by Mohammed Kteish, creator of Future Aleppo to present their views of Cardiff in the future. The children will have the opportunity to speak to Mohammed via video link and then see their ideas brought to life in virtual reality.
In addition, we are also proud to be able to bring the exhibition The Girls of Room 28 to Cardiff, the first time that the exhibition has been shown in the UK. Created in memory of a group of girls murdered in the Holocaust, this was designed by their surviving friends to illustrate their time held captive and also celebrate the adults who looked after them.
Join us and look behind the stories of our classic and contemporary performances in the FREEDOM Season. All events on sale from 11 March.