Talking Pictures

GMT 19:50 Tuesday ,27 January 2015

 Migrant Voice - Talking Pictures


In 2011, Migrant Voice launched the 'Talking Pictures' Project', funded by the Big Lottery Fund, to bring together migrants and Britons to build their skills and confidence in using photography and writing to tell their stories of migration. Through these stories, the project aimed to create dialogue and build better understanding in the wider public and among the participants themselves.

Participants came from Georgia, Italy, Eritrea, Chile, Lebanon, Honduras, Colombia, Iran, Spain, Palestine, Sudan, Canada, Venezuela Mexico, Sri Lanka, Japan and Morocco, and Britons who have been migrants abroad, Over 9 weeks they came together to exchange the experiences of their journeys to and from the UK, and learn new skills in photography and writing to develop their messages around migration. In the months following, DVDs and exhibition prints were produced and shared with the wider public at exhibitions, in newspapers and online.

The whole project was an invitation to dialogue among migrants themselves and with the British public and in the process, an individual dialogue with the medium of photography itself, learning new skills. Working with images to tell stories has proved a very successful method to create dialogue about migration and build better understanding of the experiences of other migrants.

“I have listened to migrants who have come to the UK and all of them have had important reasons, education, jobs, opportunities, etc.”

“Having acquired new technical skills in photography increased my confidence in taking pictures. I have realised that I don't feel shy in taking my camera out of the bag.”

“It has been good to meet people from everywhere and hearing their experiences. Being made to think in different ways.”

 “The course helped me to integrate and talk to other people.”

“I learned a lot about the British perspective, which is usually very difficult to get because sometimes migrants don't have the chance to mix much with the Britons.

 “The exhibition was a powerful statement showing the struggle that some migrants encounter. I especially like the quote: a journey once begun has no end.”

“As a migrant, a lot of the themes and reflections from Talking Pictures resonated strongly with me. What a powerful way to engage. Thank you for giving me the inspiration.”

The exhibition was formally launched in London at an event at the Guardian and in Birmingham at the Nishkam Centre at an event opened by the Mayor of Birmingham. A double-page spread featuring a selection of photos from the project was printed in the Migrant Voice paper. 14 videos from the project are available online at which is viewed by 100s of people.



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