One of the positive sides to starting the massive clear-out required before our move to new premises is the chance to remember past projects, as we review what we need to keep and what needs to go from the vast collection of project-related materials here at Hartopp Road.
I came across a wonderful film I hadn’t watched in years, which we made in 2007 with a group of young people who had recently moved to Leicester from different countries. The film, ‘I Came Here: 1939 to Present Day’, tells the stories of how the participants came to Leicester, alongside the accounts of other people who had arrived here before them.
The film features the story of Margot, who in 1939 fled persecution of the Jews in Germany; Sarah, who came to Leicester from Montserrat in 1996 when her house was covered with volcanic ash; Tatenda who had recently come from Zimbabwe with her parents; Omar who fled from Saddam Hussein’s regime; and many other stories from people who made Leicester their home, moving here from Ireland, Somalia, Jamaica, Trinidad, China and India.
‘I Came Here’ was installed in the Community Gallery at Newarke Houses Museum and was used as part of the Moving Here exhibition at New Walk Museum. Making the film was a positive experience for everyone concerned – the young film makers learnt new skills, got to know Leicester and its diverse communities better, and welcomed the opportunity to make a contribution to interpreting Leicester’s cultural heritage. For the people they interviewed it was a chance to talk about the ups and downs of finding ways to live in a new country and a city brimming with varied communities and cultures.
We invite you to view the film here(Full 37 minutes or Bite size in six parts) – maybe it will give you a different perspective about Leicester’s rich cultural mix from recent media coverage, such as Channel 4’s documentary ‘Make Leicester British’.