You Are Here: Safe Havens

Safe Havens: Refugee Arts CDs and DVDs for Tees Valley Schools

The ‘You Are Here’ project, managed by tees valley arts and funded primarily by the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Trust Fund, has been working across the Tees Valley with refugees and people seeking asylum for the past two years.

Now the project has produced the You Are Here CD Rom and the Safe Havens DVD, and has funding to supply a copy to every school in the Tees Valley, for free.

The You Are Here CD Rom brings together individual stories, poetry, music and visual art produced during the project and could be used in secondary schools as part of the PSHE and Citizenship curriculums, or as a stimulus to creative work in writing, art, drama, etc. It would interest any community group interested in understanding the true stories that lie behind asylum.

Safe Havens is a 12 minute film made with a class of Year 5 pupils at Cromwell Road Primary School, South Bank, and is suitable for showing to children at Primary School. It explores the issue of asylum in an approachable and imaginative way – how does it feel to leave your country, what would you pack, etc. It features an appearance by Joseph-Desire Job, local football star, and carries an endorsement from John McCarthy, former Beirut hostage.

A celebratory event is planned on the evening of March 21st, in the Dorman’s Club in Middlesbrough, starting at 7.30pm. Images from the project will be projected throughout the evening, and there will be music from the wider world, including Chinese opera, a Reggae band, a Blues band, some Asian rappers, etc. Tickets can be purchased on the night, for the princely sum of £2.50!

Rowena Sommerville, Project Co-ordinator, commented “We believe that the CD and the DVD are good quality products that will help to present a difficult and conflicted issue in a humane and engaging way, and furthermore, they are free to schools and relevant community groups with supporting training if required!”

Peter is office co-ordinator at Tees Valley Arts. He has worked for over a decade as a freelance small business consultant @nealandco. You can follow him personally @pneal.