In Spring 2014 we ran some sessions with Meeting Point at Christ Church in Armley. Meeting Point works with refugees and Asylum Seekers who have come to Leeds from all over the world. The sessions were held on a Wednesday afternoon as part of a weekly women’s group and were led by Shadow Artist Rebecca Caputo.
The members of the group meet regularly to chat, to knit and to support each other through the Asylum process and beyond. Over the course of the sessions, the group talked about their experiences of living in the city and of the lives that they had left behind in other countries. They talked about the trips that they had taken together as a group – on bicycles and buses – and of the routes that they took through the city; to visit friends, to come to Meeting Point, to drop their children off at school.
As we talked, we created images – self-portraits, maps of the journeys we had taken and representations of the knitting that accompanied the group members everywhere they went. We also listened to music – music from the home countries of some of the participants and favourite British pop songs as well. We were welcomed by the group and it was a privilege to hear about their lives and listen to their stories.
Following the sessions, Reb took the material we had gathered and began to turn it into a short film. This was shown in Leeds Central Library. We have put the finished film on YouTube and you can watch it here: Knitting Bus Routes
60) 1st March
The bus driver beeps angrily at the van ahead. “Bloody Nigerians! Can’t even understand English.” Of course they honk very differently there.