Trans-national Communities: Towards a sense of belonging

This Knowledge Transfer project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is a partnership between Charnwood Arts, Long Journey Home, City Arts, Nottingham, Soft Touch Arts Co-operative and Loughborough University in collaboration with photographer John Perivolaris and new arrivals in Leicester, Nottingham, Loughborough and Derby. The project builds upon the strong regional work of many artists, voluntary and statutory agencies and organizations, community groups and researchers as well as the regional 'Making Connections; arts, migration and Diaspora network' (www.makingtheconnections.info

Our collaborative work seeks to deliver social and cultural benefits to new arrivals (migrants both forced and free) in the East Midlands region by developing three strands of participatory research and arts activity that will contribute to public awareness, examine the role of arts and cultural activity in social policy agendas; and facilitate knowledge, communication and understanding with new arrivals. The three strands of activity are: this web-site - Beyond Borders UK a regional (and national) resource, providing a hub for the region and a repository of research and arts based activity focused upon arts, migration and diaspora; a database of artists in exile and artists with experience of working with new arrival groups and communities as well as artists wishing to extend their practice in this area; and a participatory arts/research project exploring 'Trans national Communities: towards a sense of belonging' .

The arts/research project was launched with a 'walking' event developed by internationally recognized artist and educator Misha Myers (www.wayfromhome.org). The walks happened simultaneously in (Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham on Friday 16th May 2008 at 10am. Post walk discussions led to the connecting themes for the development of the arts practice. See http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ss/global_refugees/image_makers.html for an example of one of the walks.

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