Telling Stories of Making Home in Scotland

‘Scotland Our New Home’ is a new filmmaking project for young people with refugee experience who want to make films in support of other newly arrived young people.

Funded through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund, Simon Bishopp and Katja Frimberger have been awarded funding for a 6-month filmmaking project to work with the New Young Peer Mentors: a group of young people who are keen to develop their filmmaking skills and artistic imagination, in order to tell stories that speak to and support other newly arrived children and young people who are in the process of making home in Scotland.

Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager at Creative Scotland said:

Scotland Our New Home is providing social and cultural development opportunities for young asylum seekers and refugees through filmmaking. This project will support their creative learning and help us see the world from new perspectives, this is especially important in this the Year of Young People 2018″.

Project partners include Senior ESOL Lecturer Lyn Ma (Glasgow Clyde College), Peer Mentoring Specialist Vicky Burns (YPeople Children’s Charity) and Social Worker Lorraine Ward (Glasgow Social Work Department) who founded the peer mentoring partnership to support young people with refugee experience to become peer mentors for other new arrivals in Scotland.

Scotland Our New Home has grown out of a previous artistic collaboration with the New Young Peer Mentors Hamid, Mohamad, Florida and Ruwayda who wanted to communicate the hopes and challenges that their life in Scotland entails – in the medium of animation.

With the help of their college educators Mercedes Richardson and Lyn Ma, they produced a voiceover-script, which was translated into beautifully hand-drawn imagery by filmmaker-animator Simon Bishopp.

The collaboration between the young people and Simon resulted in two distinctly different animations – one aimed at younger audiences and the other one created for teenagers and adults:

The first film, for children of primary school age, uses saturated colours and is drawn in the clean lines reminiscent of modern children’s animation. It tells of the young people’s hopes and challenges through the eyes of a girl who makes home and finds friends in Scotland.

The second animation is created in a more surrealist style. Each animated image tells a powerful story. The visceral, dream-like drawings evoke an immediate, emotional connection to the challenges and concrete hopes that young people experience when making home in Scotland.

The films were launched at Glasgow City Chambers in 2017 where the New Young Peer Mentors were awarded the Saltire Youth Award.

The second animation was award-nominated at the Glasgow Southside Film Festival and has since been shown at many conferences in the UK and abroad.

Scotland Our New Home continues this exciting collaboration with the peer mentoring partnership. The project will include those young people who have been involved in the creation of the animation, as well as new peer mentors keen to try their hand at filmmaking.

The creative heart of this project is beating with the New Young Peer Mentor’s commitment to support their newly arrived peers and will bring to life new ideas, stories and voices into Scotland’s vibrant cultural landscape.

Scotland Our New Home runs until Spring 2019, when the films will be launched and distributed to voluntary and statutory agencies, cultural organisations and film festivals.