Friday, 4 March 2022

Cardboard cutout suitcases in Helston

 A gallery of cardboard cut-out suitcases created by children at Parc Eglos Primary School in Helston, who attended our assemblies and workshops in January. They thought hard about the things that they would take with them, if they had to go on a long journey.







 


Monday, 28 February 2022

Music of migration


A very good Trustees' meeting tonight at the Royal College of Music. This was the first of the college's 'Catalyst' series - 'Fostering Community: Music of Migration and Connection'.

We thought it would be particularly relevant in view of our work in Cornwall on I PACKED THIS MYSELF - encouraging understanding of all the people from overseas who play such a vital role in the local economy.

The concert was led by Michelle Hromin, a Croatian-American clarinettist who played in both Babylon, Our Own by Aleksandra Vrebalov and 2 Suitcases by Mary Kouyoumdjian.

Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Lecture at Truro College on long journeys and new horizons

 

Great to be at Truro College today (9 February 2022) to talk to students about migration and all the surrounding issues. A run through all our work over the past 15 years.... and our project I PACKED THIS MYSELF.

Anew voice joined us at very short notice - Hillary Tan, originally from Kuala Lumpur, who came to study at University in Falmouth four years ago when she was 20.
She has indeed made a long journey to change her life and pursue a dream. She studied Business and Digital Marketing - and dance. Her long-term aim is to set up her own dance school in Cornwall.

Hillary decided to come to the UK as both her parents had studied here. She had heard that Falmouth was a particularly creative university: she is also keen to develop her dance certification - and this originated in the UK so it made sense to study here.

She answered questions this afternoon about a whole range of things. 

What she found difficult in Cornwall? The weather!
To what she missed? Malaysian food.  She found English cooking quite limited and didn't know how to cook at the start.  "My mum wanted me to study. She said she would do the cooking so I had time."

What was hard? Leaving her family.

"In Asian cultures we're really close. I grew up with being cared by my grandparents. Not seing them for a long time is hard.  But at least I can see them online."

Hillary said she had not experienced any racism, even though she found that there were not many Asian students in Falmouth.

The best thing about Cornwall? Picking up sea glass at the beach and the scenery.

The worst thing? The lack of variety in food.

Hillary kindly offered to give advice to any students thinking of studying abroad - or even in Falmouth!

Very many thanks to Euan Beattie for inviting us.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Filming at Parc Eglos School in Helston

  An exciting day for us today at Parc Eglos Primary School in Helston, Cornwall   as we shot a short film with Penzance-based photographer Mike Newman about our work on migration and all the issues around it. We ran assemblies and workshops at the school last month and even taught a little Romanian with the help of Mirabela Robatzchi (Mirabela, originally from Bucharest, is now living in Helston with her family.)  We left behind cut-out cardboard suitcases for children to create and imagine what they would take with them if they had to leave home to make a long journey.

The results are stunning, as we saw today when we returned to see what the children had created. Dance teacher Jo Simms worked with the children to stage an amazing modern dance reflecting the emotions, hopes and fears of people who make long journeys to change their lives.

Watch this space for more about the film.

Friday, 14 January 2022

A Factory Suitcase

 

Very good to see 'A Factory Suitcase' by the artist Ross Tibbles once more on display. It's now at Parc Eglos School in Helston, Cornwall (left). Ross created this suitcase more than ten years ago when he was a 3D design student at University College, Falmouth.  It's been on display several times over the years as we've continued work on migration and related issues.

It has an intriguing message.  Ross was inspired to create it after he worked in a cheesecake factory in Devon one summer. Most of his fellow workers spoke little English and he suddenly realised how it felt not to be able to communicate through language.  He felt extremely isolated. The suitcase on display at Penair School, Truro

“Workers from overseas often find themselves all alone, far away from family and friends whom they have left behind to try and earn more money than they could do at home," he said at the time. “Often, they speak little English and cannot understand what is being said to them - or make themselves understood."

Ross is now a self-employed graphic designer working across a mix of media and specialising in marketing, advertising, stationery and websites. He also does publication design and helped to start up The Moorlander, a newspaper reporting on Dartmoor and surrounding areas.  His portfolio site is arosstibblesdesign.com

Our work on migration is aimed at breaking down prejudice and increasing understanding of the role played by workers from overseas in the Cornish economy. It's called I PACKED THIS MYSELF and is funded by Cornwall Council via Inclusion Cornwall.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

A pop up exhibition in Helston

 At Parc Eglos Primary School, Helston, for the fourth day running this week - only in the afternoon this time, to set up a pop-up exhibition in the school hall. It's amazing what you can do using old cardboard suitcases as plinths, easels as signs for signage and brightly coloured fabric to draw the whole display together.

This display will be at the school for the next few weeks. On Friday 4 February there'll be an Open Day for parents. 

And on Thursday 27 January, well before that, we'll be there to film a dance created by students about the experience of migration - in particular leaving home and loved ones behind. They were rehearsing today as we set up and even at this early stage I had to wipe a tear from my eye!

This is part of our project I PACKED THIS MYSELF, drawing attention to the vital role played by workers from overseas in the local economy and attempting to break down prejudice against them.

This work is funded by Cornwall Council via Inclusion Cornwall. We've been delighted to work at Parc Eglos this week - Mirabela Robatzchi has brilliantly helped to deliver language workshops and assemblies.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Three days at Parc Eglos and making progress in Romanian

 At Parc Eglos Primary School, Helston, Cornwall, again today (12/1/22) for the third day running to talk to students about migration and teach a few phrases of Romanian. The idea? So that they could welcome any new students without English to their school. It might have seemed a bit ambitious to teach Romanian in 20 minutes but it worked!
Particularly today with the older children in Years 5 and 6.

Not only did we manage to master simple phrases like 'Hello', Goodbye' and 'How are you?'. We moved on to 'Thank you' (a long word in Romanian), 'Please' and - very impressively - 'How are you feeling?' 

The boy in Year 6 who suggested this really put himself in the shoes of a newcomer to the school without any English. Very impressive.

We had some good feedback, too,  from the lovely dance teacher who visits the school every week. She also - independently - runs ballet classes in Helston and on Monday evening (after our first visit to the school) some of her young students greeted her with a little bit of Romanian - 'Hello!' 

What a good start.


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