Archives for category: Community Arts

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I’ve been working with Peggy Mulongo from the University of Salford to develop research for her PhD in mental health nursing. Peggy has worked for NESTAC for years, helping to deliver the Gateway refugee resettlement programme. She wanted to understand the successes and failures of the programme from a young person’s perspective, using a creative approach to consultation. Peggy and I devised a series of workshops to gather information from representatives of the Somali, Congalese, Bhutanese and Senegalese communities in Rochdale and Bolton. Activities included mapping positive and negative experiences, creating a timeline and an expressive piece of work. It was an enlightening experience and I learnt a lot along the way. Lots of luck to Peggy as she begins writing up…

I’ve just spent the most fantastic afternoon with young women from Ananna and their mothers. To celebrate International Women’s Week we created life-size portraits on the theme of ‘Strong Manchester Women’ using paint and collage materials.  It was so much fun and the results were brilliant, as you can see!

On Saturday, I facilitated a workshop to engage young people from the Manchester Bangladeshi Women’s Organisation with the Legacy of Ahmed project. After a look at some posters from the Race Relations Resource Centre archive and an interesting discussion about their own experiences of racism participants produced some amazing posters. Thanks to staff at Longsight Library and to artists Jo Ford and Natalie Linney for leading the screen printing class. Thanks too to Archives+ for funding the activity.

I learnt about Ahmed and the courageous initiatives of his family. It made me think how we ‘evolved’ today and that we should always make others aware of racism. Teenage participant

The best day of my life!  Amelia, age 5

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Yesterday I spent the second of two Saturdays running art workshops for families in Rochdale. The first weekend we made Victorian thaumatropes (basic animation comprised of 2 drawings on either side of a spinning disc) while battling the wind in an open-sided gazebo. The second weekend we made artists’ books in the warmth of Touchstones Museum, while the rain lashed down in torrents outside.

Intrepid families braved the weather to get involved and made some really fantastic work.Thaumatrope picture combinations included a fish and a net, a bee and a flower, a swimmer and the sea and a fish and a unicorn! Topics for books ranged from secret codes to life cycles, diaries and The Great War. Thanks to everyone who took part.

CommunityShowcase2016-4We’ve had an interesting week, with lots of events taking place at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre as part of the Manchester Histories Festival. Look out for our stall at the Town Hall this Saturday…

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I’ve been working with ladies from Community on Solid Ground in Whalley Range, in preparation for their heritage project ‘Traditional Best Times’. The project will capture the childhood memories of first generation South Asian women who settled in Manchester during the 1970s.

In an initial training session at Central Library, we explored the value and possible application of archive material as well as completing basic training in oral history. In a second session about creative reminiscence, I demonstrated how to use objects, photos, maps and documents to introduce themes and start a group conversation. We then explored a range of fun activities to record participant’s memories and share them with a wider audience.

 

In September I was appointed manager of a further project at the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust. The aim is to reflect on the legacy of Ahmed’s death, 30 years after he was killed in a racist attack in a local school playground.  I’ve already gathered a number of oral history interviews and am also working closely with The Bangladeshi Women’s Association (Ananna) in Longsight, to document the development of this community over the same period. Click here to find out more.

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This week we began sorting and collating Ananna’s archive. We made a good start tidying the archive room, sifting through 26 years of collected ephemera (as you can see from these ‘before’ and ‘after pictures) though we haven’t even opened the filing cabinets yet! Rubber gloves and dust masks to the ready. I think it’s going to be a long haul…