A Story in a Poem is an innovative project that has brought young migrants and non-migrants together to tell their stories in poetic form, and is presented here as an open-access multimedia education resource.
Migrant Voice has organised this project in Glasgow over several months, and has encouraged people to use the medium of poetry to discuss their own journeys and lives. Training and mentoring sessions gave participants skills in storytelling, creative writing, and public speaking while exploring themes of migration, integration, diversity, community and their hopes for the future — while a professional photographer and filmmaker helped present their poems as podcasts.
The project has built a small, integrated community who are confident in telling their stories. We have produced a film which captured the moments of inspiration, engagement, and friendship which you can watch below.
The poems were launched at Migrant Voice’s conference at Glasgow Caledonian University in January, which saw activists, civil society groups and politicians including Minister for Europe, Alasdair Allan MSP, debate the future of migrants’ rights after Brexit. The launch was attended by Scotland’s Makar, Jackie Kay.
The project aims to ensure new voices are heard on the issue of migration and to strengthen relations between migrants and non-migrants in Glasgow.
You can read the poems here, listen to the podcasts here, and watch a short film about the project here. They are unique snapshots of life in one of Britain’s most diverse cities, and the journeys that brought people there.
Comments on “A Story in a Poem”
“Migrant Voice’s Story in a Poem project brings young people into the world of poetry, enabling new work in new languages with words which can hold, and help and heal. Migrants have always been the greatest enrichers of languages, acting themselves as the language frontier, the very people with and through whom barriers of language may dissolve.
The creativity with words encouraged by the project makes new worlds from new words.”
Alison Phipps, Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at Glasgow University and UNESCO Chair: Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts.
“A Story in a Poem is a fantastic collection of original and poignant poetry, from the hearts of ordinary people with extraordinary backgrounds from Scotland and around the world.
We’ve been proud to receive support from academia and culture for the project and hope it is useful for practitioners aiming to relate language education to contemporary life.
By helping more migrants to speak up we will be able to persuade people that migration is a public good that enriches, not takes away from, our culture, economy and country.”
Migrant Voice’s director, Nazek Ramadan
“Over several months young migrants from around the world, and often from difficult circumstances worked with other young Glaswegians to building a long-lasting community and create profoundly personal art.
A Story in a Poem project has movingly made poems by and for everyday people that capture the richness and diversity of Glasgow life. It is an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to explore what migration and community in modern Scotland looks like.”
Dr Ima Jackson, Lecturer, School of Health and Life Sciences
This project was funded by the Network for Social Change Charitable Trust