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20th June 2017, 12:24pm
Bringing communities together: new project to explore migration through music
Headphones The culture and experiences of Eastern Europeans living in Lincolnshire are set to be explored through music in a new community engagement project led by cultural solutions UK and the University of Lincoln, and made possible by National Lottery players.

Funded by a grant of £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), ‘Memory, Migration and Music’ brings together Lincolnshire and Eastern European cultures, exploring the lives of migrants who have lived in Lincolnshire for over a decade and working alongside them to gain a better understanding of their culture and traditions.

Capturing life before and after their arrival, 20 Polish, Latvian and Lithuanian residents will share their stories through a series of recorded oral heritage interviews to be made available to the public at the Lincolnshire Archives, through a downloadable archive, a publication and via the University of Lincoln’s community radio station, Siren FM.

Their stories will reveal the influence and importance of music and culture on their migration journey, providing a window through which to explore the different heritage of British and participating European nationalities.

The project offers participants and their families the opportunity to witness some of Lincolnshire’s own cultural history, with visits to some of the county’s most important museums and heritage sites. It also documents the stories, cultures and experiences they have brought with them on their journeys to their new homeland.

The project is part of a wider initiative called ‘Welcoming Voices’ led by Dr Dominic Symonds from the School of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Lincoln which explores the link between migration and music and aims to capture migrants’ stories and the music that matters to them.

David Lambert, Managing Director of cultural solutions UK, said: “The stories of our new neighbours are important and yet they are relatively unknown to many of us living here in Lincolnshire. By listening to them we not only get a better understanding of the people and their culture, but we also learn a little more about ourselves as well.”

Dr Dominic Symonds added: “Understanding new cultures can be difficult and very often we use shared experiences to help make sense of things. Music, just like food, can help to bring people together and provide an insight into a life that may not be quite as different from our own as we first suspected. This project, made possible by the National Lottery, gives us a chance to find out how different cultures engage with music as part of the experience of migration.”

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “This project offers a really interesting way of exploring the amazing stories and fascinating heritage of the Eastern European communities in Lincolnshire. We are delighted that money from National Lottery players is being used so creatively.”

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