Living identity, as opposed to the fossilised to-die-for variety, is in constant flux. It is an ever-changing balance, the balance of similarities and differences as a way of locating what it is that makes life worth living, and what connects us with the rest of the changing world. The challenge is to change and yet remain the same.
(Ziauddin Sardar, New Statesman, 25 February 2002)
After completing the Dreams project in Halifax in 2003, we were really excited by the outcomes and wanted to take the idea into a number of migrant communities across the North West of England: to explore cross-cultural as well as cross-generational similarities and differences, and for all the work to come together at some point and at a suitable venue: providing a wealth of material for discussion and debate.
For us as a company, it would enable us to work with people from a range of backgrounds, and, through the adoption of a particular theme, explore further the voices and lives of ‘ordinary’ people
The creative workshop sessions produced some wonderful work. We are very grateful to the 3 amazing artists who worked with us on the project:
David Bunting – animator and some time film star!
Nina Perry – sound artist, composer and organic gardener
Samantha Jones – multimedia and installation artist
When we began this work in Halifax in 2003 the aim was to try and broaden our understanding of our ‘culture’ and how young people feel about the world e.g. to what extent are they influenced by the technological and material world in which they live. What do they really care about? What do they hope for themselves and the world around them?
All the children who took part in the project were due to leave their primary schools and were feeling unsure about the future: some were excited; many more were nervous.
Most of the children felt that they were leaving something safe and reassuring and stepping into a future that will be bigger, colder and harder. Our idea was to record how they feel about the future, what they wish for themselves, their families and friends; the world they will be stepping into.
As part of the COMING TOGETHER events, we created a special celebratory ritual on the theme of travel and journeying – inspired and informed by the work we have been undertaking with 3 groups of Elders from the North West migrant communities. These people too left something safe and reassuring, to take a long trip to a land unseen, to a climate cold and hard, and to an uncertain future.
It was a deeply rewarding experience for us and we thank everyone who took part.