5th December 2019

Intern Blog Post 2019: Shazelle Punjabi

Every year Sampad team up with University of Birmingham to appoint a cultural intern to support across our exciting programme. Shazelle Punjabi is our 2019 Intern and Trainee Producer. Hear below from Shazelle, who has written about her time with us so far.

I can’t believe 2 months have already gone by. Time is flying over here at Sampad!

My first week was very memorable as I joined right in the midst of the BEDLAM Arts and Mental Health festival. Sampad had commissioned a play about perinatal depression in the South Asian community called ‘No Bond So Strong’. After successful shows at the MAC, we were now touring free shows for the community and I was lucky enough to get involved. I was helping set up venues, communicating with artists and audiences, gathering feedback and filming vox pops right in my first week. I got to see the show three times with three very different audiences who raised such thought provoking points in the Q & A sessions. I had not even heard of the term ‘perinatal’ before and now I am so much more aware of how to help someone who may be suffering in silence.

The next few weeks saw me begin designs for a community event, attend the Institute of Fundraising’s conference as well as the Happy Healthy Holidays celebration event which was a project my lovely fellow Sampadians were involved with. It was a great way for me to learn about the impact they had on the children they ran theatre workshops for. I also helped out with an event celebrating Mughal history through a fun puppet making workshop at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts. We came back with our very own Sampad Mascots, Noorie and Phyllis!

I also supported the rehearsals for Nahid Siddiqui’s kathak show and am currently helping last year’s cultural intern, Katie with the Lori Lullabies workshops that we deliver in a school in King’s Norton.

The bulk of my work is currently focused on creating a walking tour down Stratford road which builds upon the MyRoute project Sampad were involved with a few years ago. Stratford road is home to many restaurants and independent shops that boast items from different cultures, from Sarees to Baklava! This project has been one of my favourite things so far as I have been going down to Stratford road for years and yet was completely oblivious to the unique heritage and stories hidden inside the chips shops and abandoned pubs. My research has involved a lot of community consultation and speaking to business owners along the road about their experiences which I have loved, especially since I always come back to the office with a samosa or two!

Overall, I have absolutely loved working at Sampad for these past two months and the team have welcomed me with such warmth. We have such an exciting range of projects lined up and I’m so glad I will be a part of it.