'Community Conversations' is a podcast series for City Arts (Nottingham), hosted by arts and culture journalist Rachel Imogen Willcocks.
Rachel is diving into conversation with black and mixed-race black members of Nottingham’s creative community. Discussions will explore the guests’ creative processes, the 2020 anti-racism protests and mental health. We will also look at entrepreneurship, and our guests’ experiences of navigating the pandemic.
For International Women's Day, Rachel is joined by Nottingham-based black-British Soul duo MELONYX.
MELONYX is a collaboration between Georgia Copeland and Nadia Latoya. The duo have performed at Peggy’s Sky Light, New Art Exchange, Camden’s Electric Ballroom and Gilles Peterson’s 'We Out Here' Festival. They released their first single, ‘Worth the Wait’, in May 2020.
In this podcast episode, the singers discuss sisterhood and the power of women supporting each other. They talk about how they came together as a group, their influences, wellbeing and self-care, and how they’ve continued to stay creative during the pandemic.
In this episode of Community Conversations, Rachel speaks to Nathaniel Wilson, founder of Mimm and Nottingham Street Food Club.
Mimm opened on Broad Street in 2011, located in the Nottingham City Centre area of Hockley. It combines the worlds of fashion, music and art by providing unique and independent sustainable clothing, audio visual events, creative space and a radio station.
Nathaniel discusses Mimm’s humble beginnings, the importance of inclusivity in the work that he delivers, the impact that his mixed-race heritage has had on his creative output and his passion for bringing Black-British culture to the forefront over American influences.
Norma Gregory is a historian, broadcaster, heritage consultant and arts curator. For over twenty-seven years, Norma Gregory has researched and produced quality, heritage-related media products, educational resources and exhibitions in relation to African / African Caribbean experiences in the UK, helping to develop, expand and enrich available heritage as well as helping to address misrepresentations of history.
In this episode, Norma speaks to Rachel about her love for books and how they changed her life, her experience within the education sector and the importance of black history being taught in British schools, bringing the hidden histories of the Caribbean community to life through art, and the impact of the 2020 anti-racism protests.
Find out more about Norma's work:
Michaela ‘The Plentiful Poet’ Spencer
For this episode, we hear from Michaela ‘The Plentiful Poet’ Spencer, poet and spoken word artist and founder of Truth Mental Health. Michaela speaks about her journey as an artist, and how art can be used a a tool for healing. She also discusses the events that led to her starting Truth Mental Health, and the impact of George Floyd’s murder on the black community from a mental health perspective. Due to the UK National Lockdown, Rachel and Michaela were unable to meet in person to record the conversation, so this episode was recorded in the form of voice notes using their mobile phones.
Content/Trigger Warning: This episode of Community Conversations includes discussions of mental illness, suicide, murder, sexual abuse, racially motivated violence, domestic violence, death and dying, which some listeners may find triggering.
It is also important to note that the views, opinions and experiences expressed in this episode are those of the guest speaker, and do to necessarily represent the views of City Arts and those involved in the making of this podcast.
If you or someone you know have been affected by any of the topics discussed in this episode and would like further support, you can visit the following links (UK-based services):
Mental illness and bereavement
African and Caribbean Mental Health Services (ACMHS) - acmh-services.co.uk
Mind - mind.org.uk
Samaritans - samaritans.org.uk
National Domestic Abuse Helpline - nationaldahelpline.org.uk
Equation (Nottingham-based) - equation.org.uk
Jeremy Prince is a a music enthusiast who’s been DJing for 32 years. He is one of the main organisers for Nottingham Caribbean Carnival.
In this episode, Jeremy shares his experiences as a passionate creative. He speaks passionately about his influences and inspirations, from childhood to adulthood, and how music can be a form of escapism. He also discusses how he was able to take the 2020 Nottingham Caribbean Carnival online in response to the pandemic, and the coming together of the Caribbean community in times of adversity.