‘This Is My Home’ a Heritage Lottery Funded Project
How do you remember your home? My home is…. When I think of home I think of….. I feel at most at home when….. Three words I would use to describe my home are….
We applied to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a project exploring these ideas of home with four community groups: My Barnsley Too (disability forum), LGBT MIND group ‘In Your Shoes’, St George’s Church Iranian community and Barnsley Deaf Forum. Over a year we’ve held around 20 workshops, with 60 people, taking 'home' as a starting point. We explored themes relating to what 'home' means in both the physical, practical and the abstract, which stimulated discussion on home and daily life, challenges for different demographics, positive and negative experiences of 'home' both practically and emotionally. We discussed home in the sense of Barnsley, how it has changed and adapted, and people's experiences of 'home' within this.
From this, we created recordings and poems within the sessions that followed. Supporting the sessions, a series of professionals including Gemma Geldart (Oral Historian), Hayley Youell (historian, poet and artist) Simon Grainger, (LGBT artist and musician), Amy-Rose Atkinson(Deaf musician) brought creativity and a different set of expertise to each group.
Throughout the workshops with each group, recordings were created to capture individual stories and group experiences. My Barnsley Too ( a disability forum) created testimonies about the idea of home discussed the physical issue of getting around, and the emotional side of how life at home can be altered and changed considering where you live.
LGBT MIND group- the group focused on how Barnsley had changed for the LGBT community, discussing the club and night scene, how tolerance and openness has changed. They decided that Barnsley was loosing its identity as it changes with new shopping complexes and demolishing old market places, while at the same time they felt they were gaining their own identity and acceptance in some aspects of life. Their testimonies have been collaboratively created into songs by the group working with musician Simon Grainger and can be viewed through the This is My Home anthology HERE
Members of St George’s Church, Iranian community focused on the differences between their two ‘homes’ the one they have left in Iran, and the one they have been given in Barnsley. The group gave emotive and personal stories of their travel to Barnsley, and how their life had altered being a refugee. Group discussions were recorded, and their story was collaboratively created into an Iranian style poem, and recorded by a member of the group. To listen click the link below
Barnsley Deaf Forum told their stories, what it was like growing up and being deaf in Barnsley throughout the last 60 years. Over a series of interviews for the archives, they discussed social life, home life and Barnsley’s deaf community. Their testimonies have been created into a short film in BSL, and printed into the anthology. The group explored the limited deaf archives, on a visit to Experience Barnsley Museum and Barnsley Archives, took a tour of the museum and recorded their stories.
View their words in the This is My Home anthology HERE
Throughout the project, digital outcomes have been deposited into Barnsley Archives Sound and Film Archive, which has in turn become more diverse and representative of the Barnsley population, with these voices being available in it for the first time. A poetry anthology has been produced which details the work across the project and a selection of the outcomes from each group.
As a finale to the project, a town centre exhibition has been created to display the work of the project. Haikus and songs from My Barnsley Too and LGBT MIND have been artistically spray painted onto the pavements outside and surrounding Barnsley Markets. Images designed by My Barnsley Too, and quotes from the transcripts with the Iranian community have been designed into vinyl and placed on town centre hoardings. The exhibition has put these voices right into the heart of the town centre.
Hear My Voice has been generously funded by Barnsley TUC Training Ltd and programmed and delivered by Barnsley Museums