Tuesday, April 08, 2008

First Time Heard: Working with Refugee Families


How can we translate traditional storytelling in today's context and strengthen the tremendous richness of cultures and identities? How can storytelling be used as a medium for advocacy in a multi-cultural society? All around us, culture is being rejected, in particular the culture of refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Children of refugees are trying to be assimilated into the British culture and are rejecting the culture their family has come from. Refugee parents are now facing multiple difficulties and hidden traumas - being rejected from their own countries and being rejected by their own children. The power of storytelling to bridge the inter-generational and inter-faith culture is immense. The workshop was run by duo Sharon Jacksties and Sef Nakedborn, who work together as ‘Red Herring’ with refugee and immigrant communities. This workshop is informed by their latest
project at Salusbury World Refugee Centre, an agency where they have been running storytelling residencies for the past 6 years. One young woman from Iran comments on the storytelling project: "For a time I lost hope, I didn't know who I was, how I was. Now I'm getting it back again through this storytelling project".

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