Checking on their progress
As part of Refugee Week 2007, local young people were given the chance to write poems and then edit them into fims. A mixture of nationlities took part - the result was diverse fims about life in Norwich.
Young people in Norwich have their creative works premiered as part of Refugee Week. The week runs until Sunday, 24 June, 2007 and the films can be seen at the Castle Museum.
Fifteen young people were given the opportunity to develop film poems as part of the New Writing Partnership's City Of Refuge community programme along with BBC Voices, The Garage in Norwich and poet Michael Laskey.
The five completed films feature poetry written by the young film-makers, aged 11-14, from five middle and high schools across Norwich.
The group included Kurdish Turks, Congolese, Palestinian, Iranian, and Ukrainian children all currently attending schools in Norfolk.
"I liked filming around Norwich and getting to see all the places I've never seen before," said 13-year-old Rhea.
The chance to interact with people from different backgrounds also struck a chord.
"I liked how we were able to try new things and meet new people. It has been such a growing opportunity and I have learnt so much," said 12 year-old-Adrienne.
"I liked going around taking pictures and I also like editing the film and meeting new people," added Gervelie.
"The idea behind the project was to give young people the opportunity to develop a variety of skills including filming, editing and creative writing. To meet people from different backgrounds to expand their social networks and diversify their experiences," said Shenaz Kedar, the City Of Refuge project manager.
The City of Refuge scheme is based on the Cities of Asylum, founded by the International Parliament of Writers (IPW) in 1993.
Films complete, it's time for a break
The scheme has continued and flourished in 30 cities around the world - its aim is to offer residency to politically exiled writers denied freedom of speech in their own country.
In 2007 Norwich will be the first UK city to sign up to the scheme.
The Norwich City Of Refuge programme provides a platform for refugee writers and their work. Its community programme creates opportunities for people from different backgrounds to engage with each other through work in schools, art centres and other organisations.
"The City of Refuge is important because it contributes towards cross-cultural dialogue and understanding, encouraging tolerance and integration in the wider community by offering sanctuary and promoting internationalism," said Shenaz.
"The programme signifies a commitment by all those involved to free speech and anti-racism," she added.
BBC Voices producer Gary Standley was keen to become involved with the film workshops.
"This is the first time we've tried to put creative writing and film making together," he said.
"What the children have achieved is quite remarkable. It's more than a film, it's a statement, a work of art."
"It was good to see children from many cultures and backgrounds working together finding out about the City that is now home to them all," he added.
last updated: 09/07/07