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Black woman with writing pad

LCR cultural diversity creative project launches in Knowsley

by Sandra Issar

‘Different Voices – Shared Lives’ is a new project designed to develop and showcase writing talent from the region’s Black, Asian, Irish, Roma, and other racial minority communities.

It will provide creative opportunities for underrepresented communities across the Liverpool City Region to express themselves, raise awareness of their histories and explore contemporary experiences of living and working in the region.

The creative collaboration from Writing on the Wall (WoW) and Liverpool City Region (LCR) Library Services is now appealing for participants from Knowsley ahead of the project getting underway in the borough next month (February).

Different Voices – Shared Lives

Participants will take part in a series of workshops, receive mentoring from established writers, and create a publishable anthology that places diverse voices at the forefront for the benefit of future generations. These stories will be showcased in Knowsley’s libraries and a variety of settings across the region.

The project will also provide a creative outlet for underrepresented communities to improve health and wellbeing, validate lived experience, and serve as a powerful tool for change. Different Voices – Shared Lives will also no doubt touch on the communities’ experiences during the pandemic, who are disproportionately affected. With this project, WoW and LCR Library Services hope to strengthen local communities, championing new writing talent.

Cllr Jayne Aston, Knowsley Council Cabinet Member for Rescources, said:

 “We’re delighted Knowsley is a part of this project and look forward to discovering more about the history and heritage of our diverse communities. Preserving our history is vitally important and the creative works produced and showcased during the course of the project will enrich Knowsley’s collective story.

 

“The opportunity to enhance further the borough’s fascinating heritage is also very timely, with Knowsley the Liverpool City Region Borough of Culture 2022.”

Funded by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Different Voices – Shared Lives will take place in Halton, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens, and Wirral, as well as Knowsley.

The project sees the combination of WoW’s acclaimed What’s Your Story? and their Creative Heritage work.

Writing on the Wall Co-Director Madeline Heneghan, said:

“Offering the region’s Black, Asian and other minority communities the opportunity to share their stories, enriches all of our lives across the region. It educates, creates community and combats racism.

 

“This is a unique City-Region wide collaboration that will work with diverse communities to offer them the space and a platform to relate, discuss and share their experiences, and their stories with support and guidance to develop their own creativity. We are looking forward to meeting new people and to discovering the histories and heritage of communities whose stories have been largely undocumented and neglected and to creating new writing, poetry, publications and performance, for everyone to experience and enjoy.”

Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram commented:

“Our region’s diversity is one of our great strengths; something to be celebrated and encouraged. It enriches our culture, economy, and the very fabric of our society.

 

“I launched a Race Equality Programme to help nurture that diversity, level the playing field, create opportunities and tackle structural racism across our region.

 

“This project, led by Writing on the Wall, will place a special emphasis on the lived experience of underrepresented communities and will help us understand the barriers they face and develop lasting solutions.”

 How to get involved

The project will get underway in Knowsley in February, so if you are a member of a Black, Asian, or other racial minority community and would like to share your story and get involved contact mikey.dunne@writingonthewall.org.uk or call 0151 703 0200.

 For more information on the project visit: https://writingonthewall.org.uk