Afrikult. to launch ‘Stories of Home’ programme for displaced people in London

Thursday, 26 April 2018

This year we wanted to extend our workshops to hard-to-reach communities and felt particularly moved to work with refugees and asylum seekers, creating a bespoke programme where stories are exchanged and listened to. With the wonderful backing of our partners, we are proud to announce our latest programme Stories of Home launching in National Refugee Week 2018.

Stories of Home is a half-day workshop offered to displaced people living in London with an opportunity to workshop African literature and also to write their own creative pieces in response to the literature as well as to their own experiences. After the half-day workshop participants will have the opportunity to work with an editor to edit their creative pieces which would then be published in the Stories of Home digital anthology. The anthology will be launched by the end of the year at Afrikult.’s ‘Words that Travel’ Lounge event, which the participants will be invited to attend. The half-day workshop is free for participants with a stipend offered for public transportation, delicious lunch provided and an Afrikult. take-away bag gifted.

Our main focus with Stories of Home is to capture why and how literature matters within hard-to- reach communities. From our work with schools and the general public, we recognise workshops are instrumental in encouraging a wider discussion of literature and how it impacts each and every one of us. Specifically, in targeting communities and groups of people who are largely marginalised, we aim to showcase work where our participants will be able to freely engage and identify with some of the issues explored; thereby building a bridge for dialogue and expression and perhaps most significantly with this audience, the sharing of interpretations. Also through the digital anthology we aim to continue the discussion around literature, migration and immigration online with a #StoriesofHome campaign.

In the course of piecing Stories of Home together we have been overwhelmed by the generous support of our partners who have gotten behind this pilot programme. The workshops will be hosted at SOAS, University of London, in association with SOAS Alumni, on Monday 18 June and at Free Word on Friday 22 June who have offered their venues support-in-kind. From communications support from English PEN to the donation of free daytime weekend festival tickets for Africa Writes 2018, and refugee centres and organisations that have shown interest and support in what we aim to achieve with Stories of Home have all been encouraging.

We felt it was important to launch the programme during National Refugee Week and add to the diverse range of social activities offered in that time. After not receiving funding to lift this off the ground, we decided to take the plunge and launch a crowdfunder which will be live by mid-May. This crowdfunder will cover the costs of translators and interpreters, contents for the take-away bags, anthology editor and designer fee, transport stipend for the participants, refreshments and Afrikult.’s core costs, all amounting to £2,250. If this is a programme you would like to get behind or share with your network please sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know when the crowdfunder goes live.

We hope you join us on this journey in launching Stories of Home and look forward to connecting with you along the way.

With literary love and wishes, Marcelle, Zaahida and Keren

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