Homelands was a programme of artist residencies with regional and international artists in the North East of England to work with Diaspora communities.  I was programme manager for Homelands.

From 2011-13 artists Zuzana Hruskova and Marek Šulík collaborated with Roma families in the west end of Newcastle.  The project was about integration and fostering a supportive, safe environment where migration, identity and belonging could be explored and highlighted.  It resulted in a series of artworks, created with participants, and presented as exhibitions, film screenings and during social events, to their neighbours and a wider audience across the city.

In year one Zuzana Hruskova and Marek Šulík created a series of ‘multi-media’ letters with Roma families in Newcastle, recording messages to their relatives, lost-acquaintances and friends back in Slovakia, which were then hand-delivered. Responses were filmed, photographed and brought back to Newcastle creating a thought provoking and emotional mediation on the reasons for migration and the effect it has on individuals.

For year two Zuzana collaborated with writer Sarah Shaw and Excelsior Academy, Scotswood, engaging women and girls through writing and photography workshops and exploring isolation, school and aspiration.

Homelands was produced by D6 Culture in Transit (formerly ISIS Arts)