Speaking for Ourselves

Creating poems, letters & films at a Glasgow Media Lab

Creating poems, letters & films at a Glasgow Media Lab


 Migrant Voice - Creating poems, letters & films at a Glasgow Media Lab

On 9 November, Migrant Voice’s Glasgow members were treated to a star-studded online Media Lab, with experts from the worlds of journalism, filmmaking and poetry sharing their wisdom and leading workshops.

Veteran UK journalist and longtime Migrant Voice supporter Daniel Nelson shared his top tips on how to write letters to the Editor of a newspaper – and make sure they get published – while Marlon Fraser, a music producer and filmmaker based in Glasgow, showed participants some simple ways to improve their videos.

Participants were also joined by Félix Flores Varona, Cuban author of several books on translation studies and winner of numerous national and international literary prizes. In collaboration with Havana Glasgow Film Festival, Varona ran a poetry workshop, bringing inspiration from Cuban poet José Martí and Scottish poet Robert Burns, both beloved and revered in their respective countries. 

Throughout the session, participants were invited to reflect on their message for International Migrants Day on 18 December – a day to celebrate the positives of migration and to raise our voices on the issues affecting us and our communities. 

One result was a fantastic piece of participatory poetry, facilitated by Varona. All those attending were invited to contribute one line to a poem, inspired by the thought, “You’re going to the garden. What will you bring?” 

Read on for the poem…


I would bring a Royal Palm from Cuba and some heather

Memories of good times

I bring a torrent of chrysanthemums

Lili bat hartu

I bring a… seed and a watering can

I bring to my flowers my smile

Lili bat hartu eta hostoz hostoz erantsi

Coffee which reminds me. Of home

I bring a Scots Pine to grow tall and shelter us from winter’s cauld blast

And a rowan tree entwined with memories

I will share the rain from Glasgow as we have plenty as without the rain nothing will grow

New hop, lovely dream I can see, all flowers waiting for me to say hi.

I will bring the flowers of hope, the tree of life, the fruit of memories and the seeds of future

A calm wave of water from Lake Malawi, that meanders down to Zambezi

Seeds of friendship that will forever germinate

A fire to sit around

If the sun refuse to shine or the moon coming in shy, I will give you my love to green and bountiful flowers. 

I am here to say, I am bringing new life

I bring the soft dew of a hopeful morning

We can count how many apples there are on a tree, but we can’t count how many apples there are in a seed.

An abundance of Bodhi trees to remind us of awareness

I bring a red flower from my Cuban garden to my most honest friend.

Echoes in a conch shelf crashing waves

Echoes in a conch with stories in song carried on the waves

Echoes in a conch.

Let’s plant a garden.


Thank you to everyone who led and took part in the workshops at this Media Lab.

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Migrant Voice
VAI, 200a Pentonville Road,
N1 9JP

Phone: +44 (0) 207 832 5824
Email: [email protected]

Registered Charity
Number: 1142963

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