Fiona Kam Meadley
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”.
“The Barton Street Recordings” were part of Artshape’s “Proud to be Different” Project. Here you can learn more about Artshape.