Proud to be Different

This project aimed to explore and celebrate cultural differences in Gloucester. It was managed by Art Shape and GARAS (Gloucestershire Asylum & Refugee Advisory Service). Working together on simple art projects at the GARAS offices on Barton Street in Gloucester, refugees and immigrants, whether new or well established, were encouraged to feel more integrated.

There were also three month long courses and a dedicated ‘Artist in Residence’.

Participation aimed to be a really creative, confidence building and, we hope, a generally life enhancing experience.


The Barton Street Recordings:

Thirty of the estimated sixty plus languages spoken in Gloucester were collected as part of this community arts project for Art Shape and GARAS.I have combined these field recordings of language, poetry and songs with images of the city, to reflect the inner lives of people who now live there. They hark back to lost homelands, a simple life belonging to another age, or beliefs from a different culture. But they are also negotiating life in a modern city. Empathy is an under rated human quality these days, but it is empathy that threads together singer, artist and listener.

I would like to thank all those who took part in the Barton Street Recordings:

Aka, Almas, Alireza, Al Fatheha Madrassa, Angela, Black Elders, Dinesh, Dammi, Dwane, Friendship Café Young Girls’ Activity Group, Gofran, Guildhall Community Choir, Hindu Elders, Ilyas, Jason, Jeannette, Jaana, Kidana, Living Word Choir, Marof, Nic, Richard, Qi, Shanika, Dr Tunweer, Tenzin, Yun, Zirak.Fiona Kam Meadley, November 2009


Arabic Qur'an Mandarin Song    Singhalese & Tamil   Arabic Nasheed
Pashto   al fateha madrassa   Pashto   dari
Karen Finnish   kurdish sorani   Indonesian  
Pashto (drumming)   Vietnamese Glaswegian Gujarati
kurdish, Aka Tibetan Jamaican patwa



(*Interviews and more from Fiona on The Barton and Tredworth Hidden Lives project! site - a Heritage Lottery funded project which has been set up by a partnership between Gloucestershire Archives, the University of Gloucestershire and the Gloucester Theatre Company based at the Picturedrome Theatre) click here

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