June 12 2012

An African ‘Voyage’ through the waterways of Bridgend

Woman in the rain under an umbrella

Valley and Vale Community Arts are pleased to launch their new film installation Voyage, as part of Welsh Refugee Week 2012.

Voyage is comprised of a series of three short films that explore themes of displacement for three African women who have moved, or been moved, to Wales. Using the journey of the river to the sea as a metaphor for life, these inspirational women pause and reflect on their own voyage.

Shot in locations near water around Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan, Voyage contains poetic reflections on love, suffering, family, struggle, healing and pain. It asks, what happens to people when they are displaced from their homes, their countries, and come into contact with another culture? How does this feel? What sacrifices are made? What gifts are granted?

Tracy Evans, Drama Development Worker says “the films portray a raw emotion based on sometimes extreme, traumatic experiences. Rather than using a documentary style to portray this, we wanted to find a more intimate way of expressing these stories. So when we watch and hear the women’s voices, we feel like we are meeting them.”

She continues, “When we meet new people we are always trying to ‘work them out’, sometimes we do this to initiate a relationship, sometimes we do this to feel we have the upper hand over others. It was important to us that the women we worked with had the time and space to reveal themselves to us (both in the interviewing process and the film itself). This is a great offering to us- a chance to reflect on our own lives and journeys through the mirror of an other’s.”

Valley and Vale Community Arts has been working with refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people over the last 18 months on a project funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation. They have worked in partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council and Oasis to deliver workshops in drama, dance, singing, craft and performance.

The films will be shown in three locations in June.

  • June 16th The Waterfront Museum, Swansea (The Container exhibition)
  • June 23rd St Fagans Museum, Cardiff (The Refugee House exhibition)
  • June 30th Beyond the Borders International Storytelling Festival, St Donats (The People’s Palace)

Please contact Tracy Evans, Drama Development Worker, for further information [email protected]