Support sustainable innovation in opera and dance
Munkination © Ham the Illustrator i
Munkination is an immersive hiphop (trap)/opera which places the audience at the centre of an Afro-futuristic adventure story about climate change. The tribe, at the heart of the story, is inspired by the heritage of the originating artist, HAM the Illustrator: his ancestors, the Khoisan, are believed to be one of the oldest tribes on the planet, having survived for thousands of years in harmony with the desert in Namibia.
This project is a call to action. Munkination is a recruitment tool for young people, using music as a way in, to inspire new thoughts and action on climate change. In HAM’s words: "there aren’t many stories by and for people like me, that forefront our heritage, and our perspective. At the heart of Munkination is the desire to connect to a generation of younger people, people like me, to engage and take ownership over our shared future."
Produced by Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House, and ultimately presented as a touring experience designed for small audience groups, the project mixes styles and genres, combining live performance with a distinctive graphic world and scored with a hybrid of hip hop and opera, resulting in a radically new sound.
Audiences will enter a pop-up installation, flexibly designed for touring to festivals and events. Using VR, they find themselves in the world of 2500, where they meet a Neo-Primitive tribe, the Usan, to uncover a powerful message to take back to the present, and join a mission to live responsibly and protect the planet.
The tribe is inspired by the indigenous hunter-gatherer tribes of South West Africa, the Khoisan, who have been recognised as one of the earliest formed distinct human genetic groups on Earth. They live in harmony with the cyclical nature of their environments, dealing with scarcity, abundance, drought and floods as they occurred.
These traits are now seen by some climate scientists as the key for humanity to survive climate change, adaptability, a new approach to planetary stewardship and new economic models that work with the changeability of natural resources.
Munkination encourages young people to take inspiration from the Khoisan, to use the planet’s resources responsibly and ultimately, to take ownership over our shared future.
The project was conceived in a development lab organised by Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House and GUAP magazine. GUAP is a revolutionary youth platform showcasing emerging creative talent. During 2019, ROH Audience Labs and GUAP brought together cross-disciplinary creative teams to explore how immersive technology can evolve operatic experiences. An industry panel awarded the Munkination team the first inaugural Immersive Opera Development Award to develop the proposal idea further.
We believe climate change and humankind’s impact on our planet is the predominant challenge facing society today, and our goal is for young people to take positive action. Munkination will take advantage of new innovations in immersive technology to enable a dialogue amongst artists and audiences about how our society can tackle this pressing issue to take place on a global stage, in a powerful and stimulating way.
Munkination – A Second Chance will be a flexibly designed experience to do just that, activating young audiences around the UK to join the fight against climate change.
By helping us reach our target of £20,000, you will enable us to create a prototype of this portable production – a 5-minute immersive experience, which will enable audiences to step into the world of 2500, get immersed in the sound and environment and meet four essential characters from the San tribe.
How you can make a difference - if we reach:
Thanks to your support, you will enable us to create the first shareable version of the future world of Munkination.
HAM the Illustrator - illustrator, composer, music producer
HAM is a freelance illustrator, rapper and music producer exploring ways art and storytelling impact youth culture and public perception. He produces art, digital content and music for a variety of creatives, brands, and entrepreneurs. His work has been featured by MTV, Nike, High Snobriety, It's Like That, The Courier Newspaper and GUAP Magazine.
Isabelle Kettle - opera director
Isabelle Kettle is a British director of opera and theatre whose work has been produced in London and New York. She is the 2019/20 Jette Parker Young Artist Stage Director at the Royal Opera House. In 2020, she directed Susanna in the Linbury Theatre at the Royal Opera House. Kettle graduated from Columbia University School of the Arts with an MFA in Theatre Directing. She works in both opera and theatre, staging classics and collaborating on new works with artists from disciplines including film, poetry, visual art and dance. Kettle’s theatre work in New York and London includes Melis Aker’s Manar, Sophocles’ Antigone, Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal, and adaptations of Shakespeare’s King Lear (Lear’s Daughters) and As You Like It (Arden Creatures) with Footfall, the theatre company she co-founded in 2014.
Audience Labs at the Royal Opera House – producer
Audience Labs is an innovation programme at the Royal Opera House. Audience Labs brings together pioneering artists and next generation technology to create boundary-breaking contemporary opera and ballet experiences. Rooted in the Royal Opera House’s tradition of stagecraft, alive to the possibilities of immersive technologies, Audience Labs invites new and diverse audiences to experience ambitious and innovative work - wherever they are.
Annette Mees - Head of Audience Labs will support the project as Artistic Advisor.
Annette was a Creative Fellow of WIRED magazine and The Space, the guest artistic director of the Danish Inspiration Lab, and started her career as co-artistic director of interactive theatre company Coney. Annette has worked with diverse partners across sectors including Tate Britain, the United Kingdom Parliament, Ogilvy, WIRED Magazine, British Council, The National Theatre of Wales, SJ01 San Jose Biennale, Nesta, and several UK universities. She has previously mentored immersive projects on the Creative XR and Crossover Labs development programmes.
HAM the Illustrator
Creative entrepreneur, music producer and illustrator
FEDORA Artists Series, FEDORA Prizes, Jury Nominee
Royal Opera House
27 October 2020
Watch an exclusive interview of HAM the Illustrator, Creative entrepreneur, Music Producer and Illustrator of "Munkination - A Second Chance" by Royal Opera House! Discover exclusive visuals, his motivations and inspirations as an artist.Read more