Celebrating multi-ethnic Dorset through images and stories

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It’s Showtime!

ALL DIFFERENT, ALL DORSET: new Arts exhibition to celebrate multi-ethnic Dorset

 

A new touring exhibition which celebrates multi-ethnic Dorset through images and stories is being launched at the Blandford Museum on the 1st September. The exhibition has been produced as part of an Arts project, All Different, All Dorset, and is supported by Arts Council England and Dorset County Council. An accompanying book containing the images and stories has also been produced and is available to buy online.

 

The project was set up by local writer and poet Louisa Adjoa Parker, who is British but has Ghanaian heritage. She has been running the project and holding photography and story-telling workshops across Dorset with photographer Martin Coyne. Louisa set up the project as she wanted to raise the profile of the increasing black and minority ethnic community in Dorset in a positive way, as people from diverse backgrounds here sometimes experience discrimination.

 

Louisa says: ‘I wanted the project to say, we are here, these are our stories, we are contributing to the community and have every right to belong here. I know of a few incidents in which people have been physically attacked due to racism and I think that if the community can read some of our stories and see the beautiful images it may help us move one step closer to ending racism and discrimination in this fantastic county. I believe that the majority of this comes from ignorance, not hatred. There is a very strong stereotype of what a Dorset person should be, and the fact is that we are different in many ways, but also we are all the same.’

 

The exhibition will be at Blandford museum from 1-27th September and is open to the public. The launch will take place at 6pm on the 1st September, and people from any ethnic background with an interest in the Arts, stories, photography, contemporary local history or learning a little about the black and minority ethnic community in Dorset is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.

 

The ADAD exhibition will be available to view at Bournemouth University from 30 Sept until 14 October; and at County Hall in Dorchester from 17 to the 28 October.

 

To book the exhibition for your venue please email Louisa:

alldifferentalldorset@yahoo.com

 

To order a copy of the accompanying book or to have a preview of the work, please visit http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/2419343

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Madina in the Spring

Jordi paints the sea……

New Year in Dorchester


I am a beautiful woman, walking

I am a beautiful woman, walking

along a river, along a beach, over a bridge,

my feet crunching on stones and sand, making

a gentle thud as they connect with the earth.

I am a beautiful woman, walking

I chose to survive. I am honouring my ancestors:

the beautiful women who walk with me.

I think of warrior women, walking

I think of wise women, walking

I think of strong women, walking

For years I have not known who I am.

Now, I find answers in the arc of a duck’s wing as it

takes flight,  in a seagull’s throat as it chokes out its cry,

in the sunshine on my back, the glass-glitter of water.

I find answers in the rhythm of walking:

along a river, along a beach, over a bridge.

I am the past and the present and the future.

I am a beautiful woman walking, honouring

my ancestors, myself, the future

warrior women who are yet to be born,

listening to the sound of the sea

and the timeless rhythm of feet.

Louisa Adjoa Parker

Velvet Dresses

I want to climb under Dorset’s skin
curl up in her folds, wrap her around me
like a patchwork quilt, stained
yet stiched with years of love,
taste the colours of green and gold,
run my fingers over rough textures
of ancient earth.

I want to crawl under her pavements,
her roads, lift great slabs of tarmac,
limb every craggy, awkward hill,
every cliff like a tooth capped with gold;
trek for miles through woods
and green fields like velvet dresses
with skirts fanned out wide;

I want to sink my fingers into the earth
let the tiny stones and grit and bones
run through my hands;
search for the past along with
fossils spiralling to dust
in clay-rich soil.

I want to let Dorset’s past soak
like cocoa butter into my skin,
let her history merge with mine:
talk of Africa and her slaves.
I want to know it will be fine
for anyone with not from here
etched like tribal markings into their skin,
to sink into Dorset like a warm rock-pool,
with fingers stretched out towards the sun,
to walk her beaches, green-velvet fields
with pride, say

I live here, belong here, she’s mine.

Louisa Adjoa Parker