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  • Writer's picturePamela Lawton

Artstories with SCOREscotland

It's hard to believe my Fulbright experience is almost at an end. What an experience it has been! While my initial plan of working with the Sudanese community here in Edinburgh did not work out, I did make valuable connections with them that I can build upon in the future. My fortunate connection with Jennifer Ba, Youth and Children's Development Officer for SCOREscotland [Strengthening Communities for Race Equality in Scotland] resulted in an amazing artist's book project with immigrant youth of color aged 13-18 on the themes of belonging, respect and identity. My research assistant, PhD student Jing Xu and I worked for five consecutive Saturdays on the book project at WHALE Arts Agency in the Wester Hailes community of Edinburgh. The community is a diverse one with white families and migrant families that have moved into low cost housing. There is much conflict and the youth need support to develop a sense of belonging and positive identity. Ideally I would love to see intergenerational projects that would heal the breach between white neighbors and migrant families, as both come to WHALE for a variety of entertainments and activities, but seldom if ever connect with one another. Despite having an art program the SCOREscotland youth have not had much opportunity to work with the teaching artists there as each community organization housed at WHALE seem separated in space and activities. Jennifer was successful in securing a grant to continue Artstories in some form after I leave and I left the extra art supplies for her. It was an enlightening and emotion filled experience. In July their artists' books along with the altered books created by scholars, and PhD students from the University of Edinburgh will be on exhibit at the Edinburgh College of Art library.

The exhibition at the Edinburgh College of Art Library turned out really well, in part because a former MAT student of mine from the Corcoran, Olivia Davison, a new bride and transplant to Glasgow, popped over to Edinburgh to help me install it. Thanks, Liv!

Jennifer brought several of the young artists by to see the exhibition on July 12th. Our amazing photographer/videographers also came to record the moment. The show will be de-installed on August 1st. Many thanks to librarian Jane Furness for making this happen.

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