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.

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