What does it mean to be British? community-led newspaper

Page 1

What does it mean to be British? A community-led newspaper

“RESPECT” “Pride” “Flag” “Pub culture” “Brexit” “Youth” “Empire” “Royal family” “Let asylum seekers be human. Let them live”

“Ignorance” “Unique” “Tea” “Diverse” “Hidden histories” “In England we should treat people the same” “Justice” “Music” “Opportunity”

“Winter is weird, the weather is depressing bruv” Created by Concord Youth Centre Birmingham, Focus Charity Leicester & Global Sistaz United Nottingham UK.


What does it mean to be British? A community-led newspaper 2018 - 2019 What does it means to be British? Invited diverse young people and a refugee and asylum seeker group to use their creativity to explore their experience of “Britishness” producing artistic work for their own newspaper. Three groups from Nottingham, Birmingham and Leicester took part in weekly workshops supported by locally based artists. Global Sistaz United, Nottingham. A self-led women’s support group for refugee and asylum seekers. The women worked with artist and writer Panya Banjoko to create very powerful statements, collages and questionaires about what defines being British? Other creative writing included "Dear Theresa May" a series of letters expressing their experiences as an asylum seeker and "The advantages of being a migrant" The Life in the UK government test must be taken by anyone applying for British citizenship or settlement in the UK. Panya chose some of the questions about British traditions and history from the form for everyone to discuss and re-write their own questions. Concord Youth Centre, Sparkbrook, Birmingham. Young people worked with artist Emily Warner to discuss and create their own artwork, games, writing, collage, drawing and puzzles. The newspaper also features young peoples conversations about their city, where they come from and what it feels like to be British? Focus Charity, Leicester. Young people were asked to think about “What being British looks like for them” by artist Mita Solanky. Working as a group and in pairs they took to the city streets at night to capture "Britishness" using their own theme or idea. These included music, hidden histories of buildings, the "nitty gritty", food, sports and pubs. Each group have decided where the newspaper should go.

Thanks to All the participants who took part, your amazing artwork and for being so honest! Adill, Natalie & Manaf (Concord Youth Centre), Victoria (Global Sistaz United) and Harsha & Luke (Focus Charity) for hosting the project and all your brilliant support. Panya, Mita and Emily.

Credits What does it means to be British? Is supported by a National Lottery Project Grant from Arts Council England The project has been developed and managed by Independent Engagement Curator Boseda Olawoye www.bosedaolawoye.com


What does being British look like for you? Street photographs by Focus Charity

Pubs & Hidden histories.


Pubs. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Fantasy Art. Photo by young person from Focus Charity


Hidden histories. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Food. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Hidden histories. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Food. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Hidden histories. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Hidden histories & food. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


Hidden histories & Fantasy art. Photos by young people from Focus Charity


The advantages of being a migrant….

You are flexible because you have seen life somewhere else.

You are prepared to take on new challenges.

You can speak more than one language.

You can adapt to different lifestyles and ways of dressing.

You can fit into different beliefs.

You can adapt to different kinds of foods.

You require a willingness to learn and be educated.

You value families and the bond with your community.

You sympathise with victims in similar situations.

You are open to change and challenges.

You are able to reinvent yourself.

Global Sistaz United


If a person was not born in England but speaks English fluently and confidently does that make them British? Yes No If a person was born in England and wears religious dress, such as a hijab does that make them less British? Yes No


If a person was not born in Britain but has lived in England for more than two decades, which of the services listed should they be entitled to? Educational provision Health care Housing Mental health support Citizenship None of the above All of the above


If a person is Muslim, wears a hijab, prays five times a day and was born in England to Gambian parents, are they British? Yes No If a person came to England from Nigeria, works, pays taxes, has settled and has started a family in the UK and sees England as home can they be called British? Yes No

Global Sistaz United


Global Sistaz United


00, No Fixed Abode Weary Lane Nolandhome Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Theresa May, I have migrated from another country to live in the UK and I have not had the best of life so far. If you ask I would say life is hard. Not all of us want to take advantage of the opportunity you have, so why punish the asylum seekers for no crime? We are hard working, focused, tenacious good and loving people. We want to also be a part of building this country. We want to be educated, we want to work, we want to find love and be loved and most especially we want to live; to live without fear. Let asylum seekers be human. Let them live. Yours sincerely, An Immigrant. 0, Land Less Lane It’s Shocking Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May 10, Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Mrs May, I admire your courage in your role as Prime Minister however I would like you to imagine yourself in my shoes. I was an asylum seeker right from the time you were the Secretary of State. From that time until now you have become prime minister I am still an asylum seeker wasting my life. How would that make you feel? Yours sincerely Still Seeking Security.


Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May 10, Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Theresa May Can you help me to bring my family to England? Can you help the people in the home office to get statuses sorted out quickly? Can you stop deporting people, especially those who are coming from non-humanitarian places? Yours sincerely, Need Your Help.

Prime Minister Mrs Theresa May 10, Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Theresa May Can you make the cost for foreigners applying for British passports reasonable? Also when foreigners are inviting their spouses relatives to visit its too much to pay. I would also like to request that you discuss in the House of Commons how to treat asylum seekers as they are not really treated in a good manner by the home office. Please can you consider giving the asylum seekers amnesty as we have suffered a lot? I would like to thank you especially for the way you are dealing with Brexit. You are really a courageous woman. Thank you Miss Suffered A. Lot.

Global Sistaz United


How did the British get their greatness test? 1.The queen wears a crown made from jewels, can you name the three places that these jewels come from? A. England, Ireland and Scotland B. Scotland, Wales and the Falklands C. South Africa, India, Sudan D. America, Canada, Australia

7. When was the Race Relations Act instituted? A. 1965 B. 1955 C. 1975 D. 1945

2. What nationality was the late princess Diana’s partner? A. South African B. Canadian C. Egyptian D. Spanish

8. When did the Bristol bus boycott occur? A. 1963 B. 1965 C. 1938 D. 1914

3. Which of these two is an individual’s human right? A. Freedom of speech B. Right to democracy C. Right to be deported D. Right not to be secure

9. What year did the Nottingham Race Riots occur? A. 1958 B. 2008 C. 1948 D. 2018

4. What is the British National dish? A. Fish and chips B. Chicken tikka masala C. Egg and fried rice D. Jerk chicken

10. Equiano Olaudah, the African slave abolitionist, visited Nottingham. True False

5. What does the term ‘magpie’ mean? A. Someone who collects and keeps things that does not belong to them B. Someone who shares things with others

6. Who was the first African in Nottingham to invest in property? A. George Africanus B. William Tell C. Robbie Burns D. Jane Austen


How to make British people Ingredients: 3 spoons of migration 2lb of Theresa May 4 racists 4lb inequality 1tsp of don’t care A sprinkle of ignorance A dash of keep them out Method: Mix migration with Theresa May and add 4 racists, inequality and a dash of don’t care. Add keep them out. Bake for 1hr. Serving: Cut into slices and sprinkle with ignorance. Baked Britishness Ingredients: 50g Hello 20g Please 60g Thank You 1tsp Smiles 10g Colouring Top up with a spoon of an Old Ladies Tale Method: Put Hello in a bowl, add Please and Thank You with a teaspoon of Smiles and Colouring. Bake for 10 minutes on a low heat before adding the Old Ladies Tales.


Baked Britishness Ingredients: 220g Rule of Law 50g Freedom 100g Spirit of Giving 2tbl Freedom of Movement 2tbl Public Housing A pinch of Legal Aid 1tsp Courtesy 1tsp Women’s Spirituality Method: Mix rule of Law, Freedom of Speech, Spirit of Giving and Freedom of Movement. Add Public Housing and a pinch of Legal Aid. Serving: Garnish with Courtesy and Women’s Equality. Serve hot and feed the nation. NB: This recipe needs to be precise to have effective goodness.

Global Sistaz United


An A

to

Z

of

Britishness


What is home? Birmingham is where I was born and raised, so I picked home to describe Britishness cus I take pride in it. To come from this city it means a lot. What do you need around you to call a place home? Nice environment, good people who you can get along with, things you can do, not only that, being able to feel comfortable in your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Depends cus I always believe that i’m at risk, anything can happen at any time. I wouldn’t say i’m safe, but you have to keep your eye open.

Is that because of where you live? Here? No, because of things that go on, and you hear in the news. Incidents you hear on the news sometimes make me not feel safe. Why? That time there was a period of stabbings going on around Birmingham. It didn’t feel safe to be here. But then it stopped. What did you pick? Laws? I choosed it because, without laws you wouldn’t really be British. Cus if you didn’t have laws, you wouldn’t have rules to follow, and without rules to follow you can do anything.

You wouldn’t really have anything with no laws, no discipline. It wouldn’t really make sense cus without laws a lot of bad things would be happening. Do you think that all rules are fair? Like I think, if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time, then people are going to get in trouble. Is that good or bad? It’s a bad thing, it depends. It depends what’s happening, that person might not even know what’s going on and could just be walking past. things? No, not really. I think it depends on the person’s mentality if you ask me, how they think. Not all people out there get up and think, you know what i’m gonna do bad things today. Some people have things going on as well. It’s not always that they going on then they channel their anger in the wrong way, and turn to that thing, and then that’s when it depends on a person and what they’ve been through.


maybe when it comes to a sense of home, community or background Do you think it’s always been like that then? Inner city areas like Sparkbrook have come in. videos on YouTube. One thing interesting is there’s always been immigrant communities here. All over Britain, not just Sparkbrook, Britain as whole. I got family in Clitheroe.

1606. No one really cares about interested in Buckingham Palace. It’s where they change the guards - is that interesting to us? Other occasions that are more important to us: school holiday, home-time, Friday’s, Birthday’s, hugging my mom, Christmas, Eid, Father’s and Mother’s day.

from? If everyone was the same it would be lame. In England we should treat people the same. Most people do. Hair colour, Eye colour… Personality.

of living. There’s British people there

Back to home, if we look at Sparkbrook where we live here, there’s lots of communities here. The Somali community, the Pakistani, the Afro-Caribbean, the communities. And do you think they all feel British? Do those communities even get on? 100% no. Not all of them get on and not all of them think they’re British so, they look at like, they can’t be British if they’re from that country. But if we looked at it like, you’re Asian, me and him kinda black, he’s got Indian in him, your colour is white. We’re all still British cus that’s what we know we are. British isn’t about where you come from, it’s about being part of the British community. There are some people because of where they’re born they don’t class themselves as British, they’ll be here but cus they were born somewhere else they’ll be like I ain’t British I weren’t born here don’t tell me i’m British.

Music as well. It’s too loud round here. Music is something to zone to, when you’re on your own. At home. Put on the radio, play some Bob Marley, relax. Do you associate Britain with music? Yeah they’ve had some success. Beatles, Adele, Jessie J the list goes on, Rita Ora. Does music give you a sense of where you are? YEAH What do some of these words really mean? PRIDE: proud of trying our best, it’s also about sexuality, it’s about being grateful, and respect. It’s really important to respect each other and listen to our stories, about what we’ve done to get to Britain or stay in Britain. You shouldn’t have to hide, you have every right to… FLAG: it shows who we are, but it’s

between having a title of British or actually being legally British, but then

be British.

When some people make judgements, to be mean or hurt you. We should all be grateful we have food and a house. BACKGROUND: you shouldn’t really judge someone by their past or history, ‘teenagers’ should not be judged by their background. Life can change in a day or a second. OPPORTUNITY: it’s about taking chances to be a better person everyday. Help people, give back to the community. Have an adult perspective.


fAKe neWs is fooLish Does Theresa May Create Mixed Opportunities For Other People?

Is Britain Fun? DO PEOPLE FROM THE BRITISH CULTURE HAVE A HEART?

Help People Who Need It Most I Go To The City Centre With My Mixed Race Friends To Spend A Lot Of Money On Clothes Shopping

Not All People Have Good Personalities (You Can Get Them Really Miserable People) Suns Out Guns Out Bare Positive Vibes

Everyone Likes Summer, Everyone Is Out Winter Is Weird, The Weather Is Depressing Bruv

Not All People Are Loyal - What Has That Got To Do With Britishness

Did Theresa May Create Mixed Opportunity And For How Much Money?


Where Do YoU CoMe froM? 5-mins ago I was: 1: At Concord Centre, it’s loud.

At lunch-time I was: 1: At school, it was boring.

down with a crowd of people. 3: In concord it’s noisy! 4: Getting changed from school. Now i’m sitting here, listening to poetry, it’s comfy, it’s loud, and i’m waiting for pizza! 5: Sitting down watching a person do poetry.

the way home. 3: At home it was busy. 4: At school it was busy. 5: At school eating. 6: Sitting on a chair, it was boring, dead silent. 7: At lunch eating and I was very bored and the food tasted like vomit, and after school I went home to get changed to go to Concord and play with the arcade. 8: Visiting someone.

1-hour ago I was: 1: In detention, it was dead.

5: Eating at McDonalds. 6: Walking from school, it was cold and uncomfortable.

Yesterday I was: 1: In a room playing Fortnite. Fortnite. 3: At my parents. 4: With people. 5: Playing football at Moseley School.

‘Self-portaits working blindly’

6: At my grandad’s house eating Sunday dinner, it was delicious. Last week I was: 1: Eating pizza. 3: At school. Last month: 1: It was my Birthday. 3: I was in Norway on holiday. school) it was weird. 5: I was getting through September. 6: I was seeing grandma. The start of 2018: 1: I was at Anderton Park School in Year 6. 3: It was my dad’s birthday party. 4: Rapid.


The start of 2017: 1: It was New Year. 5- years ago: 1: I moved house from London to Birmingham. 10-years ago: 1: I was at Concord.

Birth: 1: Norway. 15-years ago...

The Old Ancient Monster

50-years ago: 1: My parents lived in Yemen.

Six Head

in Jamaica and my great grandma was 44 years old. 100-years ago: 1: Back home in Jamaica

Half-alien Half-donkey Scribble Human-Head

Half-a-Human

UNRELIABLE PORTRAITS Self-portraits drawn with our eyes closed showing that identity can be a matter of opinion. These drawings show how we might look in our imagination, drawings in the dark, drawn without eyes.


oUr ADVertiseMents

MARS SELLS: Well it’s to do with the credit crunch. Is Mars a British company? Maybe I should have done my research. Is there still a Cadbury’s then? There is, but isn’t it owned by an American company? So no more chocolate coins then? GOOD FISH & CHIPS: F+C are so common. Is it your favourite? No. What is? Chicken and chips, lamb kebab. Are kebab a

CAFE MEETINGS: Advertising a campaign for people to meet, and talk about Britain. So people understand what Britain is. They meet in a cafe, and pay £5 to attend. But where does the money go to? TEA CARTONS: Mine is about buying and selling tea. Making tea ‘fast-food’. You can have it when you want. People pay more so they don’t have to do things. Convenience, like online shopping. TEA SOLD: We have sold the tea back to India. Selling it or giving it back? Why buy it GO RACING: It’s fun to do. Go-kart racing. Horseracing? Is horse-racing british? Ratracing? That’s just abuse of animals. The racing should happen in massive types of racing.


This collage is to show people how it feels to be British. Explain How people feel like to be British and to be accepted as a British Citizen (bangs hand on the table). Why have we done this? people.This relates to us, it shows who we are, and where we’ve come from. This gives us the point of view, of everything that other people see. No... I’m trying to say something but it’s hard to explain... We’ve done this to give a sense of our identity. I think it’s trying to say, no matter, if we’re all together we’re still gonna be British. It’s almost like, we’re all connected. You know how British shitizens (said with unintentional lisp), NOT shitizens, CITIZENS. Yeah, the British community, anyway anyway anyway, ahhh now i’ve forgotten. I’ve got it now. Some English people, innit, take the mickey out some people cus of where they’re from, innit. talk normally) For example some people might say that muslims are terrorists. Yeah and bombers (laughing)... Wait that’s not funny. What about words from the A-Z that relate to this? MULTICULTURAL Like if you’re a man, you’re not the only one to be cared about. You know, woman should be treated the same as men. So this is about people having the same treatment? your head we’re all British.

YoUnG MinDs of BritAin


How do you indentify yourself? Manner, happy, eyebrows, humour and personality.

How do you know if someone on the street is someone you know?

What is an outsider? You don’t feel part of the environment. Is this about being an outsider? (looking at stories from ‘outsiders’) ...why does it have happy things on then? Because people are happy to be outsiders? So they’re happy to get neglected? They’re trying to celebrate being This looks positive because they’re trying to say - some people are outsiders and they can’t help but be Is it to help their self-esteem? Is it because, not everyone likes to norm? Who here wants to be normal and like everyone else? Not me, cus it would just be like looking in a mirror, like looking at hundreds of you. I’m white, I love myself white. I’m not being racist. You’re not being racist you’re just describing yourself. I’m half white, half brown. What photographs shall we take for our newspaper then? Hands and feet? My body? How do we identify people?

Face. Not clothes. Weight, if someone’s skinny you won’t see them. What’s unique to you? My one handed clap, my phone, my hair, my extra pinky. We could take a picture of all our features and put them together. B has got an extra thumb. An extra ear. I’m a bit camera shy this week. No face (taking photos). My hair. My hair. You didn’t get the hair. You do that, you do hers, take one, pass the camera along. You’re meant to do the face. Just the hair. My eyes are so weird close up. What should we photograph next? His afro. She looks serious! How do you identify where you are? What is unique about this space? arcade, the wall outside!


2

9

3

5

1

8

6

7

British PUZZLe

4

than this word. Supposed to be in charge, but needs to do a

BRITISH CROSS-WORD ANSWERS

other neWs