50 Hours of Freedom at Contact

Hieu Minh Nguyen

Celebrate International Non-Binary People’s Day with a creative lock-in at Contact

In celebration of International Non-Binary People’s Day on 14 July, Contact and Manchester International Festival are bringing together three local, non-binary artists to create a new piece of work – and you’re invited to the sharing!

This year, Contact celebrates its 50-year anniversary. So, the artists will have 50 hours to make their new piece. During the 50-hour lock-in in the Contact building, our local non-binary trio will be given a brief from the award-winning international artist, Danez Smith. They’ll then share this new work with a live audience.


Heidi Rose
(they/she) is a queer, working-class, Mancunian performer and creative producer.

Their voice-based practice evolves from Western-classical choral singing, and currently focuses on exploring folksong as a personal inquiry into where spirit is found, within both the body and community. Heidi enjoys contemporary music, noise, and collaboratively experimenting with the myriad of sounds the voice can make to explore soundscapes, harmony, and creating other worlds through voice.

Politics, playfulness, and care are central to her artistry and she’s looking forward to developing a deeper physical and clowning practice at circus school in September 2023.

Jay Mitra (they/he) is a non-binary punk poet, multi slam champion, and music journalist currently based in Manchester. Their poetry has been published in Acumen Poetry, Drawn To The Light Press, Streetcake Magazine and Broken Sleep Books’ Queer Icons anthology. Jay has been featured on BBC Radio 6 and has also performed in BBC’s Contains Strong Language, Hit The Ode, Leeds LGBT Lit Fest, Manchester Pride and Manchester Punk Festival. Currently, they work as a freelance writer and facilitator. You can find out more about them on Instagram and Twitter @punkofcolour.

Yeguachita is a queer, neurodivergent musician from Abya Yala, bringing you tunes of all kinds – from hip hop to cumbia to vaporwave to psychedelia to andino to house to ∞ – for the queers, the mentally ill, the global majority, and their friends. they make music to fall in love to/ to riot to/ to heal to: punk spirit and soundtrack for the revolution ♡

Following the performance of their new piece, audiences will experience a live reading from Danez and a post-show discussion with Contact’s Artistic Director and CEO, Keisha Thompson, to spill all those juicy secrets from their time in the Contact castle.

Also part of this season

Tino Sehgal: This Entry
The Whitworth | Until 16 July 2023

Tino Sehgal presents a playful exchange between different masters of their craft. Premieres at the National Football Museum and the Whitworth.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions 
HOME | Until 2 July 2023

The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions at HOME brings together theatre, dance and song for the ultimate anarchic bedtime story.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Economics the Blockbuster
The Whitworth | Until 22 October 2023

Economics the Blockbuster is a research and exhibition project, developed in collaboration with Alliance Manchester Business School and MIF.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Sonics, stories and scenes of the Diaspora
The Manchester Museum | 1 July 2023

SEEN Magazine and Manchester Museum shine a spotlight on the sounds of the South Asian diaspora for Manchester International Festival.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Sonic Geography
The Bridgewater Hall | 7 July 2023

Lose yourself in the world premiere of Sonic Geography by John Luther Adams, played by pianist Ralph Van Raat.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

All Right. Good Night.
HOME | Until 8 July 2023

Weaving personal tragedy with catastrophe at large, All right. Good night. is a meditation on loss and how to deal with uncertainty.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Benji Reid: Find Your Eyes
Manchester Academy | Until 16 July 2023

Known for Afro-futurist images that seem to defy gravity, Benji Reid invites us to watch him at play as he creates live photography in this genre-bending show.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Balmy Army
HOME | Until 17 September 2023

A movement for youth-led mental health. Balmy Army is art and activism rolled into one show – expect the unexpected.

Part of Manchester International Festival 2023

Get the latest news from Oxford Road in your inbox