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do the Jitterbug!

07 Jun 24 | Events

Many people across Oxfordshire joined us at the Metamorphosis-inspired tent, Jitterbug, over a blustery weekend to mark Kafka’s centenary. Nearly 3,000 people joined a free programme of talks, yoga, crafting, storytelling, circus, cabaret, spoken word and the culmination of a dance programme for a group with Parkinson’s.

Created by Trigger and co-produced by Trigger and the Cultural Programme, the events included workshops with local artists and organisations like Oxford’s Story Museum , bringing their own unique approach to share with the general public. They were joined by academics from the University of Oxford who provided an insight into Kafka’s work and how this still has relevance today.

Highlights across the three day event included our very own costumed buzzy bee and fuzzy fly characters who entertained the children, who were also encourged to have their face painted, chase bubbles and make their own buzzy bee costumes. This was followed with an exclusive evening performance by the ‘rebel chantreuse’ and international superstar, Meow Meow, who wowed the audience with her Kafka-esque performance of classic show tunes from the likes of Kurt Weill through to the more contemporary ‘Itsy Weeny Yellow Dot bikini’ number on Friday.

Our costumed characters were on hand again when a fashion show took centre stage on Saturday, judged by the team at Dragademia, who also almost brought the tent down in the evening with an outrageous cabaret performance followed by a debut collaboration between local aerial artiste Julia Sparkle and MC RAWZ. 

These were interspersed by panel sessions across the three days, hosted by resident Kafka academics from the University of Oxford. around such topics as Kafka’s influence on contemporary art, his approach to his work and his enduring legacy. A final panel session on Sunday also discussed the fascinating world of insects and their pivotal role in shaping our future.

The Bodleian’s printing press also worked hard on Sunday and produced almost 500 insect images. A further 2,000 people stopped by to see Jitterbug and take photos and more than 500 took away a copy of the Bodleian’s special edition of Metamorphosis.

Our thanks to our creative partner, Trigger and all the artistes, academics and organisations who helped make this event such a success, and to the crowds who joined us to make it all worthwhile. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

07 Jun 24

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