The Urban Music Theatre project was an ambitious & creative 3-year arts programme that brought together culturally diverse young people from Manchester’s refugee & asylum seeker communities as well as local youth communities to engage them in cultural & artistic activities.
This project built upon the performance-based youth arts work that we developed over the previous 3 years, through projects such as Now we Talkin’, The International Crew, In the Mix, Afrocats and the Exodus Festival.
We wanted to continue to develop contexts and methodologies of bring together diverse youth communities, to encourage cross collaboration, cultural exchange, communication, integration and positive representation of young refugees & asylum seekers.
We recognised that young people who arrive in Britain as asylum seekers from international destinations experience two major transitions that can have a significant impact on their lives – their journey from their home country and their arrival in a new country which may be very different to what they are accustomed.
These young people may have fled from countries where there are human rights abuses and armed conflicts. They may have had traumatic experiences and difficult journeys to safety. Some may have coped with grief & bereavement and may remain separated from one or both of their parents or other close family members. A number of new arrivals may also experience stress in the UK because of problems with health, language, poverty or racism.