Routes to Roots

Talking About My Generation

We were delighted to be working once again with Ignite Imaginations and Migration Matters Festival on two projects in spring 2o21.

Routes to Roots invites young people to creatively explore themes of migration, cultural identity and family heritage, developing creative and other skills.

Running alongside Routes to Roots was Talking About My Generation. Working with Over 50s participants to share memories of the 60s, stories of that era, journeys of migration and the music of the time. These stories and reminiscence led to a creative sharing of work.

Both projects showcased at this year’s Migration Matters Festival in Sheffield and Talking About My Generation was featured online as part of the DISRUPT festival.

We were delighted to partner with Ignite Imaginations  and Migration Matters Festival to deliver an online arts project for young people in June 2020.

Working with 19 young people in two Sheffield schools and with community groups Chillypep, creative workshops were led by Suzanne Gorman, Sile Siband and Gevi Carter.  The young  people explored themes of family history, heritage, place, culture, migration – and their own experiences of lockdown-  through creative writing. We were delighted that Sile, who participated in the project last year as a young artist, was part of the facilitation team this year.

Routes to Roots is part of Maya’s project,  Benny and the Greycats, our new musical in development. The story is inspired by Artistic Director Suzanne Gorman’s family history and tells the story of a group of Anglo-Indian musicals who swap playing in a swing band in India, to embark on a new life in Sheffield in the 1960s.

Routes to Roots invites participants to make a creative response to their own family histories and journey stories.

In 2019 Maya Productions partnered with Theatre Deli and Migration Matters Festival to run our pilot project for 16 – 25-year olds from a Migrant, Black, Asian and Ethnically Diverse Background in Sheffield.

The young artists worked with musician and facilitator Tongesayi Gumbo to explore their family history and creative selves – going on a journey of dance, spoken word, drama.

As part of Migration Matters Festival in June 2019 the group shared a new piece of performance showing “the lives that brought us here and made us who we are.” An insightful, fun, honest and welcoming performance not only captivated and impressed our audience but also got them up out of their seats and joining in!

Audience Comments

“Very enjoyable – really warm, open performers! I wanted more of each story!”
“Very talented young people hope it can continue. Also glad to see a range of different people in the audience. Well done!”
“Brilliant, inspirational and talented people. Loved hearing about their journeys and would love to see them spread their stories and inspire even more.”

Photographs by Nadjet Ben Maghnia

Supported by:

The JG Graves Charitable Trust, Sheffield Town Trust, Scurrah Wainwright, Unity Theatre Trust and The Teale Charitable Trust

Click on the photos to enlarge

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