Emmanuela Machozi Yogolelo

Lisapo - The Congolese Tales recorded, preserved & shared the untold stories of the Congolese community living in Greater Manchester


Lisapo – The Congolese Tales is a direct development of Community Arts North West’s Exodus Refugee Arts Programme and is the company’s first project that aims to create an oral histories record for the region’s archives. We have been able to build on this programme for the future by creating archiving projects with other refugee heritage groups that have settled in Greater Manchester in recent years.

Lisapo has recorded, preserved and shared the untold stories of the Congolese community living in Greater Manchester. A community that has been migrating to Britain since the late 1980s as a result of the destabilisation of the country and consequent civil war. The Congolese community represents one of the largest stakeholder groups involved in the Exodus programme since 2004.

A big thank you to the Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting this project.

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Click here to listen to extracts of the Lisapo oral history recordings.

Click here to watch the full live Lisapo performance at Band on the Wall

Visit the Lisapo – The Congolese Tales Facebook page here.

The main objectives of the programme were to:

  • Record, preserve and share the stories and memories of the Congolese community in Greater Manchester
  • Provide a permanent public archive of 25 oral histories at the North West Sound Archive and the Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archive and through CAN’s website
  • Offer training and skills development opportunities for five members of the community in oral history recording, developing new technical skills and confidence
  • Develop accessible interpretations of the oral archives and people’s history that will communicate well with modern audiences through the production of a heritage inspired oratory featuring spoken word, song and narration that will tell the powerful story of the Congolese historical migration to Britain in recent years
  • Organise a high-profile live heritage event in a mainstream cultural venue where the musical oratory will performed in June 2014
  • Promote the archive and audio-visual recording of the musical composition widely through online platforms and a DVD

A series of workshops took place in Manchester city centre as part of Lisapo. Here are photos taken during the sessions.

The programme ran from April 2013 to July 2014. Download a copy of the [download id=”19″ format=”1″] here.

Lisapo flyer front