“Making it Home” began with two ideas. Firstly, we wanted to foster lasting connections of dialogue and understanding between two very different groups of people who would not ordinarily meet. Secondly, we wanted to use poetry and short film as powerful tools in building those connections. These ideas also coincided with two of the Refugee Survival Trust’s aims: raising awareness of issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers, and promoting lasting integration in Scotland.
And so, thanks to enthusiastic partners and funding from Creative Scotland, it all came together. In September 2012 refugee, asylum-seeking and migrant women in Glasgow and local women in Edinburgh took part in parallel poetry workshops discussing published poems about “Home”. This was chosen as the theme most likely to uncover shared experiences. Participants explored the personal reflections and stories prompted by the poems, and then these very talented women learned how to make short films, based on the rich material gathered during the poetry workshops. Now, in June 2013, we have four extraordinary films ready to be shared with audiences in Scotland and beyond. To view the films click http://makingithome.net/then-films/
“Making it Home” has met and exceeded its original aims. This is in huge part due to the resilience, talent and sheer determination of the two groups of participants. These women have formed lasting bonds of friendship and respect, moving beyond initial doubts to discover shared experiences and understanding on issues such as homelessness, destitution, disempowerment and the need for sanctuary. Individually, participants have learned and consolidated skills of communication, analysis, teamwork and creatively expressing their thoughts – skills that will enrich their wider communities and individual prospects far beyond the nine months’ duration of the project.
This booklet seeks to chart the project’s journey. It also celebrates the women who have expressed one truth through different stories: we are all of us, daily, trying to make it home through difficulties to a place of sanctuary.