Fiona Kam Meadley

Image accompanying MP3 audio clip: Fiona 1 ( KB)

Fiona 1

Fiona tells us about the background and context of "The Barton Street" recordings

Fiona 2

Fiona explains that there "wasn't a typical day" when she was making the recordings and that it was a question of "fitting in with other people's schedules" and visiting the street's communities

Fiona 3

Fiona reflects on the effect of the recordings and remembers how "proud" some of the older generation were to see themselves on Youtube and how important it was for younger people to have the opportunity to record themselves and their heritage and have "a sense of being visible"

Fiona 4

Fiona describes the "invisible infrastructure" that goes on behind the scenes in the area and how much time people put into building a sense of community, the importance of this, and of "passing something between the generations"

Fiona 5

Fiona recalls one really special moment whilst making the recordings and the "sense of heritage" felt when contributing to the recordings

Indonesian Song (Bengawan Solo)

Fiona sings the song her Grandfather taught her, mentioned in clip 5 above. "Bengawan Solo" is a song about a river in Indonesia.

Recording the traditional songs, poems, and stories of Barton Street's many cultures

By Ollie Taylor

In 2009, Fiona Kam Meadley was commissioned by Artshape to take up a six-month position as Artist in Residence at GARAS (Gloucestershire Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers).  During her time there, she completed a project called "The Barton Street Recordings".  The project recorded the traditional songs, poems, and stories of people in the street in the languages spoken there.

In the first clip, Fiona remembers her early memories of being at GARAS and how "intrigued" she was by the many different languages she heard being spoken there.  She was told that there were approximately 60 different languages spoken in the Barton Street area.

Fiona goes on to describe how she went about collecting the recordings, the pride felt by those who took part in them, both young and old, and observing the time and effort people in Barton and Tredworth put into building a sense of community there.

In the final clip, she remembers how it felt to record a song her Grandfather taught her:

“It’s incredibly emotional because suddenly you go back into your own life and you remember the people who taught you this song, a real sense of – ‘heritage’ is not the right word – of being handed down something, and that, actually after all these years and being thousands of miles away, that you actually still remember it, and find that it’s there, part of who you are.”

Here you can listen to more of "The Barton Street Recordings".

Here you can explore more of Fiona Kam Meadley's work.

"The Barton Street Recordings" were part of Artshape's "Proud to be Different" Project.  Here you can learn more about Artshape.

This page was added by Ollie Taylor on 03/02/2012.