Where are you really from? New project to tell further stories of Black and Asian rural life

Where are you really from? is a project being run by The Inclusion Agency (TIA), and has been funded by Arts Council England and Literature Works. TIA plans to digitalise the stories of black and brown people’s rural lives, and share them via a podcast, website and other channels. Their aim is to increase understanding between people of different ethnic backgrounds living in rural communities, to build empathy, and celebrate storytelling, diverse histories and resilience.

TIA was founded by writer Louisa Adjoa Parker, and Louise Boston-Mammah, who also works for Development Education in Dorset (DEED). Together, they have delivered many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) heritage projects, and through TIA they hope to deliver further projects in the region, as well as supporting organisations to become more inclusive.

Where are you really from? is a pilot project that will build on research Louisa carried out during her South West Creative Technology Network fellowship. She produced this blog and a podcast which showcased her findings. The new project will gather further stories and share them widely, adding in literary elements including poetry and fictional audio.

TIA will gather stories through participants’ written submissions, and will also hold FREE story-telling sessions in Exeter and West Dorset. The aim of the sessions is to support participants to tell their stories via poetry, life writing, fiction, and song writing. Recording for the podcast will also take place during the sessions. Participants can submit work produced during the sessions to be considered for publication on the website or podcast.

The project is supported by a partner, Little Toller Books, a Dorset-based publisher of books about nature and rural life.  Other artists who will be working on the project are musicians/audio technicians Gary Pickard and Femi Oriogun-Williams, as well as a sound designer. TIA are recruiting an emerging Black or Asian poet to write new pieces inspired by the stories.

Participants can tell their story anonymously if they wish.

TIA are especially keen to hear from people in West Dorset, as the fictional audio piece will be inspired by real stories from the area. The walking audio tour will be available at Dorset County Museum and Shire Hall later on in 2020.

To find out how you can get involved, please get in touch via the contact page on this website: email: louisaparker3@hotmail.com: or text/leave a message on: 07391371692

Testimonials from previous project:

‘The feeling I didn’t belong seeped into every corner of the everyday. It was rarely explicit, but an accumulation of questions undermining my existence and place in the world: “Where are you from? Why are you here?”’ Previous WAYRF participant

‘The podcasts are life affirming, moving, inspiring, and educational. They provide an antidote to xenophobia and racism and give a unique platform to BAME rural voices: to their untold stories and experiences.’ Previous WAYRF audience

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