Family Tree Update: Mapping Newham

a photo of young family tree project researchers
a group of family tree project researchers

For the past few weeks our Family Tree Project has been training young people as researchers, interviewers and film-makers for our Family Tree pilot. The project has involved young people from all over the borough of Newham. We recently met for our 3rd training session  at Lister Community School, Newham. Where students and representatives from both Lister Community School and Langdon Academy, have begun mapping ‘their newham.’

Our researchers a reported back a mix of negative and positive initial findings using film and notes of the interviews that they had conducted. The students also discussed how the media portrays groups of minorities negatively. All 6 groups  had interviewed family, friends and relatives. their research highlighted local issues like; difficulties local people faced as ethnic minorities living in Newham and the pressures that young people face to meet superficial or unrealistic ideals of how they ought to look, weigh and dress. Some groups had highlighted festivals, the 2012 Olympics and local sports and education as being positive aspects of Newham life.

Dr Anna Carlile of Goldsmiths University asked the students to draw up maps of ‘their Newham’, with the areas of their community

young people draw maps of Newham
Mapping newham

important to them, where their friends and relatives lived, the places they loved to visit, local businesses and attractions. Each researcher than had to list the locals they knew in each location, be they friends, relatives, elders and go and interview them. Asking each for good news stories about their community that the media wouldn’t cover.

Our next session will focus on developing our researchers presentation techniques in the students, showing how to condense the information gathered during the numerous interviews and gather in these good news stories.
These students and young people from West Ham United kickz programme, Newham Community Links and London Academy of Excellence have been researching and interviewing the communities where they live. Their work will be the basis to create a Newham Family Tree – which will contain written, audio and visual accounts from the community of how diversity has flourished in Newham.
You can see a short video of the session here

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