16 Jan The latest with the tea!
Mahnaz tells us what is happening with Tea4Change.
It is a new year and it was only in September that I embarked on hosting a popup tea party with stitching and conversation.
The tea party being in the well-known ‘pigeon park’ had around 60 people that sat, drank tea, stitched and had a conversation. The free cake went down especially well after 5pm when we handed it out to people passing by from Colmore Row.
“People don’t talk as much as they used to”
“When will you be here again?”
“A great idea”
After handing out teabags to people around the area and drawing people in, the stitching went down a treat. Lots of people wanted to stitch, for some it was their first time and for some it was something fondly remembered from childhood, “My mum used to sew”
We also had the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress join us and engage with the people stitching. They also got down to some stitching themselves.
The two words that spring to my mind after this event are ‘isolation and segregation’ the words I drew from the Making for Change project in March. It does not matter what race, gender, religion or if you are rich or poor. We may have all experienced these feelings at some points in our lives. This is partly why I have seen the need to bring people together. Craft offers an opportunity to break down barriers particularly with conversation and can make it less daunting and slow things down.
This outdoor tea party had a mixture of people that reminded me that those differences do not necessarily define a person. We actually can forget sometimes that we are all human and have a lot in common, one of them being the love for tea and drinking tea.
A month after the popup tea party Tea4Change popped up at a mental health festival in October called ‘Care and Share’ where people stitched and wrote wishes on the tags. The teapot was more than just a teapot it had become a magical wishing teapot.
The need to work together is very important with the changes that are happening in the world but also in this country.
The next steps for this Campaign are on-going and a work in progress, including experimenting with some new ideas and planning for an exhibition for this time next year.
“The stitching begins
The tea is made
Embrace and celebrate”
Mahnaz Tea4Change campaigner