Highlights of Child Migrant Stories Public Engagement Programme, 2017

February 2017

QMUL Public Engagement Awards

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Child Migrant Stories was delighted to win the Interact Public Engagement Award.

7 February 2017

During GradFest week at QMUL we ran an evening event “Refugees and Migrants Welcome at QMUL”. This was in partnership  with QMUL Syria Solidarity Society/ STAR (Student Action for Refugees) and QMUL Student Advice and Counselling Service. We screened “Passing Tides” and “Ugwumpiti” followed by a discussion chaired by Professor Alison Blunt. One Jah, Maurice’s reggae band entertained us as we chatted over refreshments,

22 April 2017

We screened “Ugwumpiti” at the Legacies of Biafra conference at the School of Oriental and African Studies. This was to mark the 50th anniversary of the start of the civil war in Biafra.

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Most of the people who attended had either got caught up in the war themselves or had relatives who did. Maurice’s account of the war, told from a child’s perspective, allowed people to talk about their experiences, sometimes for the first time. After the discussion Maurice played a tune or two to end the session.

20 May 2017

We held a Child Migrants Welcome? stall in Stepney Green Park where we collected stories of welcoming or being welcomed as child migrants. This was part of QMUL Festival of Communities. To enjoy videos, audios and post it notes, collected by Shaira, our outreach officer, and Ioanna, from Hackney Museum,  go to https://childmigrantstories.com/category/welcome/

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21 May 2017

The following week-end we held a screening of “Ugwumpiti”,”Voices Past and Present” and “Passing Tides” with input from Linh and Maurice at the People’s Palace at Queen Mary University of London. People always enjoy talking directly to Linh and Maurice, featured in the films. This was also part of QMUL’s Festival of Communities.

24 May 2017

We launched our brilliant learning resources for school students and adult ESOL (Students of English as a Second Language) based on four films from Child Migrant Stories at Hackney Museum. https://childmigrantstories.com/learning-resources/

 28 May 2107

We held a screening of “Life is a Destiny” about Argun Imamzade’s journey as a child from Cyprus to London in the 1960s at the Rio Cinema in Hackney. The film includes lovely images from Argun’s album that he hid behind a metal cabinet when his house was being bombed. His album was one of the only things that survived. After the screening of the “Other Side of Hope”, about two men who left home and made an unlikely friendship, Argun Imamzade, Eithne Nightingale and Mitchell Harris participated in a Q&A at the Rio Cinema. The picture below if of Argun, right and his older brother, left.

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19 – 23 June 2017

Once again Hackney Museum used Child Migrant Stories as a basis for their Refugee week school programme attracting 200 school children from local schools.

They also integrated Blanca Stern’s life story, coming to Hackney, on the Orthodox Jewish kindertransport scheme organised by Rabbi Schonfeld, into their year-round schools suitcase project. See below a portrait of Blanca and the Museum’s suitcase based on her life story.

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20 June 2017

As part of a conference on Home for Refugee Children at the Centre for the Studies of Home at the Geffrye Museum Child Migrant Stories screened two new films.  “Home” featured thoughts of home by seven people who migrated under 18 to East London. “House that is not There” features the story of Henry Bran’s return to his old home in El Salvador where people thought he was a ghost. This was animated by his daughter Gabriela Bran. Blanca Stern & Duncan Ross featured in “Home” attended as well as several members of Henry Bran’s family. Henry Bran had died the previous year.

24 June 2017

We screened “Home” and “Life is a Destiny” with Q&A with Argun Imamzadeas part of the V&A Museum of Childhood’s Refugee Week programme.

June 2017

We were invited by Argun Imamzade to screen “Life is a Destiny” at a Turkish Cypriot Summer Party in his home and garden. We were later commissioned by the Council for Turkish Cypriot Association to produce a film based on 100 years of Cypriot immigration to the UK.

Picture 8aEithne Nightingale interviewing Kazim Altan

17 July – 1 September 2017

As part of the Summer School Programme at Ragged School Museum we ran an interactive display and quiz based on migrant children’s experience of education in East London 1930 to the present day. The children loved lifting up the desks to find the answers. Over 1,000 children participated. Here are some of the things they learnt from doing the quiz.

“I learnt not to be racist.”

“I learnt not to just be friends with people like me.”

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14 September 2017

We were invited by staff at KPMG based in Canary Wharf to give a presentation about the work of Child Migrant Stories. We also screened “Passing Tides” and “Ugwumpiti”, followed by a Q&A and a lively reggae concert by One Jah.

22 November 2017

We ran a seminar on the migrant experience of objects lost and found with Autograph ABP. Autograph ABP, based in Shoreditch, is a charity that works internationally in photography and film, cultural identity, race, representation and human rights. As part of the seminar we screened “Life is a Destiny”. People appreciated Argun Imamzade’s participation in the Q&A given his direct experience of losing and finding his photo album as a result of war alongside that of academics and artists. This event was part of the Being Human Festival on Lost and Found.

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9 November 2017

We were delighted that the film “Ugwumpiti” was nominated for AHRC Research Film of the Year 2017 presented at BAFTA. We did not win but Maurice, his partner Sharon, Mitch, myself, staff from V&A Museum of Childhood (Teresa Hare Duke), Hackney Museum (Emma Winch) and from QMUL (Professor Alastair Owens), had a great time including posing with the BAFTA  iconic mask. “

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26 November 2017

Screened “Ugwumpiti” and “Passing Tides” at the Rio Cinema, with input from Maurice Nwokeji and Linh Vu in partnership with Hackney Migrant Centre, to raise funds and promote awareness.

 9 December 2017

We screened “My Heart Belongs To – 100 years of Turkish Cypriot migration to the UK” with testimonies from 12 pioneers at the V&A South Kensington as part of

CTCA programme to celebrate 100 years of Turkish Cypriot migration to the UK

600 people saw the film. Children of people caught up in the wars in Cyprus were very enthusiastic about the film. They had heard their parent and grandparents talk about the film but it had never been explained to them.

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