A unique two-part event combining panel discussion and performance, exploring the way we experience shifts in our identities and the many forms that process can take.

Part one will be a conversation about the different psychological, physical and emotional ways in which we can experience a transition into a new identity, as seen and felt by our guest speakers. Performer Emma Frankland will discuss her emergence and life as a trans woman; Poet and doctor Bashar Farhat will share the journey of his transition from Syrian citizen to refugee; and artist Sarbjit Kaur will offer insight into her relationship with the dastar (Sikh turban). Join them and Guardian journalist Yasir Mirza, who moderates, for an honest appraisal of the nature of transition and the resilience of the spirit in the face of change.

Part two features work by None of Us is Yet a Robot, an ongoing collaborative project between Emma Frankland and Abby Butcher. Their devised piece ‘Language’ is a performance/gig manifesto performed with a punk guitarist about the failure of language to adequately describe or support trans people’s experience.

Contributors

Bashar Farhat

Bashar is a 31 year old doctor, from Syria, now living as a refugee in Bradford. Bashar was detained twice by the government regime before escaping illegally to Lebanon, where he taught creative writing to Syrian children. In March 2015, he was given humanitarian protection in the UK. Since arriving in Bradford, he has been volunteering with projects working with refugees.

Emma Frankland

Emma Frankland is an award winning theatre maker and performer. A transgender woman and trans activist, she has recently been creating performance work based on transgender identities and the politics of transition through her None of Us is Yet a Robot project. Throughout her work, there is a shared theatrical language that focuses on honesty, action and a playfully destructive DIY aesthetic.

Sarbjit Kaur

Based in Birmingham, Sarbjit Kaur is a practising artist and art tutor. Her artwork looks at girl-child neglect in South Asian and particularly Punjabi culture. She expresses the conflict between Sikh egalitarian normative views and the operative beliefs that are practised culturally. Her writing often expresses her journey of discovering the Self, as well as sharing personal stories and observations of the world.

Yasir Mirza

Yasir is former head of diversity & inclusion and journalist at The Guardian, where he devised and ran citizen reporting/journalism training programmes with marginalised communities in Australia, India, South Africa, Brazil, USA, and Algeria.  He has presented for the UN, World Forum for Democracy, BBC, taught at Westminster University, and is currently a senior consultant at the Media Diversity Institute. Yasir is also an actor.