Footprint on the world with a heartbeat.

In Oldham Sat 27 March. FREE Climate Connections digital media workshop: 2pm-5pm

Oldham. FREE Climate Connections digital media workshop: 2pm-5pm, Sat 27 March 2021

by Crossing Footprints for Oldham Libraries, in partnership with Community Arts North West

FREE SPECIAL ONLINE EVENT for anyone aged 10+

Can social media bring people together to educate and tackle climate change? Find out how to make quick social media micro-videos that have impact against climate change and also bring different communities together. Work online with a group of artists and activists to generate action to tackle the damage being done to our climate. Combine images, video clips, text, spoken words. Connect your experience here with other parts of the world, be a part of a powerful collective film made up of many voices.


With artists Kooj Chuhan, Emmanuela Yogolelo, Rabia Begum, Klaus-dieter Michel, Maya Chowdhry, Ricardo Vilela and leading writer and researcher Alex Randall from Climate Outreach.

 **INCLUDES LAUNCH OF COMPETITION WITH PRIZES including shopping vouchers**

Climate change is affecting us everywhere – the UK, Pakistan, West Africa, Bangladesh, South America, Syria, China, the USA, you name it. This is an afternoon of hearing from experts, activists, community members and artists about the problems and the solutions we’re facing, then creating your own short slideshow film combining photos, videos and text. We’ll be putting these out on social media and they’ll become part of a collective film over the next few weeks. If you’ve settled in Oldham from outside the UK then we’d love to hear what you know about the environment in your country of origin.

2-4pm Main online workshop

  • presentation and discussion with a panel of speakers
  • breakout rooms in small groups each with an artist helping out
  • finding photos and video clips and making a slideshow film
  • adding your own words about actions and solutions to the problems

4-5pm Online Training session and screening

  • a training introduction on how to create short social media videos
  • the launch of a competition and open call for more video contributions
  • a screening of all the media we’ve created to close the event

This will be an opportunity to bring together a diverse range of people in Oldham from different backgrounds. Oldham Library is a part of the Libraries Of Sanctuary movement, and we particularly welcome people with experience of having been refugees.

International participation: Communities close to libraries in Bremen and Hamburg, Germany are collaborating with Oldham on this project, and limited tickets are available for them.

Look out for the FREE follow up event on Saturday 17 April!

Full details about this project can be found at .

This event is included in Peshkar’s Young Digitals Festival 2021. Climate Connections is presented by Oldham Central Library in partnership with Community Arts North West, as part of the national Libraries of Sanctuary movement.

CYA Museum-31

CAN took part in City of Languages event on Sunday 21 February!

CYA Museum-31

We shared a series of short films as part of the celebration of  International Mother Language Day, with Manchester UNESCO City of Literature, and created in partnership with Manchester Museum

Films were streamed live from Manchester Poetry Library

Our films explored both the importance of mother tongues and the artist’s connections with Manchester, where nearly 200 languages are spoken, more than any other city in the UK or the EU.

Almost all of the film material were gathered and edited during lockdown restrictions.

Our two contributions were:

Would you take my hand? by CAN Young Artists

"These words, off this tongue mean the world to me; the place I call home has the world  on its doorstep, the world in its heart…."

The young artists on our short film journey which has been inspired by the strength, power, and beauty they found when exploring Manchester Museum’s collections from across the world. We celebrated our city of Manchester - the wonderful multilingual city. CAN Young Artists is generously supported by BBC Children In Need.


CAN Young Artists – Abdullah, Alicia, Amir, Osman

Yusra Warsama  - writer and director

Clive Hunte of Busha Productionsvideographer and editor

Jaydev Mistrymusician


The Mother Tongue is Hungry by Abas Eljanabi, Farjana Kabir, Louison Kangombe

The Mother Tongue makes us hungry for home, for distant memories, for a time that no longer exists. The Mother Tongue is a craving, sometimes forbidden, sometimes slipping out of reach.

The Mother Tongue is hungry, hungry for change, hungry for revolution.

Three multi-lingual performers presented three short films as previews of their new collaborative performance piece which will be shown later in 2021: live or live-streamed depending on Covid restrictions.

Farjana Kabir presented a short drama. It’s 5 AM in Bolton. A single mother from Bangladesh finds herself in the UK but hungry for memories of home. Her best friend calls her from Bangladesh. She shared voice notes, pictures, and familiar sounds. The friends take a trip via video call to a national Martyr Monument, Shaheed Minar, reflecting on the history of their mother language through songs and poems.

Louison Kangombe presented a short lecture about Lingala, the most widely spoken language in the Congo and reflects on his feelings about his language. Lingala originated in a Congolese province and thanks to the army it became the main national language. Lingala has shifted over time, affected by the influences of other spoken languages of the Congo and it's now transformed to a completely different language.

Abas Eljanabi’s short film explored the meaning and significance of language and its relationship with revolution, courage, and individuality. He reflected on language as an entire system of communication, a way of presenting a whole way of being. He also resurrected a short monologue from a play originally written in Arabic in 1969.

Booking link

Follow the conversation





Photo by Shirlaine Forrest



Arian Photo

Refugee Week at CAN went Digital in 2020!

The Horizons Festival 2020, co-produced by CAN and HOME was unable to take place due to the restrictions presented by Covid-19.

Instead, CAN curated some exciting digital work for Refugee Week June 2020.  We were delighted to share a programme of workshops, performances, film and discussion, created in association with some of the amazing international artists from our creative community in Manchester!

Launched on Sat 13 June #EveryoneCAN celebrates Manchester's status as the most linguistically diverse city in Western Europe, with a series of FREE digital creative workshops and performances for families.

Launched on Sun 14 June #BeyondBorders is a FREE digital programme of performances and film created by international artists from our creative community during lockdown.

Both programmes are available online on  YouTube and Instagram to celebrate #RefugeeWeek2020 and #Imagine a world beyond borders.

Ambrose Musiyiwa (7)

Welcome Ambrose Musiyiwa - PhD researcher

Ambrose Musiyiwa (4)

Earlier this year we shared the good news as CAN embarked on a partnership with The University of Manchester to offer a fully-funded PhD opportunity, ‘Listening to the voices of refugee-heritage artists’ and possibly the first of its kind in the UK.  Now, we are delighted to announce the appointment of Ambrose Musiyiwa as our PhD candidate.

Ambrose is a poet, journalist and photographer. His poems have been featured in many anthologies and his journalism, short stories and essays published in newspapers and magazines in the UK, Zimbabwe, the United States and South Korea. His poem The Man Who Ran Through The Tunnel has been translated into over 12 languages. He has an enduring interest in the intersection between arts, activism, migration and community action and has organised numerous creative projects, including the Leicester Human Rights Arts and Film Festival and Civic Leicester, a community media channel highlighting conversations taking place in and around Leicester.

I am absolutely delighted about being appointed as a PhD candidate and am looking forward to the research. Over the years I have met a good number of people from Manchester and have heard many great things about the city and am looking forward to discovering the city as well.


Ambrose’s research will address the barriers and opportunities refugee-heritage artists experience here in the UK; shining a much needed light on their contributions, offering new insights for the arts and academic sector, as well as provide findings that will have the potential to influence future cultural policy.

This unique partnership between University of Manchester and CAN brings together organisations with a significant track-record and reputation in the sphere of arts and migration in the North West and nationally. This study takes off at an extraordinary time in global history, in the midst of the international Covid-19 crisis and as the UK leaves the European Union. Both the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit will have a significant effect on artists, the arts infrastructure and practices and, among other things, we would like to find out how this is affecting refugee heritage artists.

We are really excited about Ambrose joining us at CAN.  This is a wonderful opportunity for us to deepen our relationship with University of Manchester and work with Ambrose to contribute to new thinking in arts and migration.


It is fantastic to be able to work in collaboration with Community Arts Northwest on this unique and important research project. We’re delighted to be working with Ambrose and we look forward to considering these important questions about arts and migration.


The collaborative doctoral program is funded by AHRC (Arts and Humanities Research Council) via the Northwest Consortium Doctoral Training Programme.  Ambrose will begin working on his PhD in October 2020, until then, we hope you will join us in sending our warmest wishes and a hearty welcome to Ambrose as he prepares for the move to Manchester!

CAN DoIT for web3

CAN Do Creatives - and they’re off!

CAN is an expert in artist development, especially for new migrant artists, and those under-represented in the creative sector.  We launched our new CAN DO Creatives course on Tuesday 22 September 2020.

The course provides targeted training for 21 artists and creatives from a range of artistic disciplines and backgrounds. The programme has the options of either online or in-person training.

This is CAN’s first face-to-face work since lockdown started.   

This free course, funded by the European Social Fund, will support unemployed artists and creatives facing the challenges of building a successful creative career, especially in these uncertain times.

The course delivers bespoke training in employability, including:

Confidence and presentation skills;

Self-employment and finance;

Successful project planning including applying for funding and commissions;

Marketing and networking to grow a profile; ensuring an artist’s practice meets relevant legislation such as health and safety;

Creative sessions to develop a digital showcase of artists’ work to conclude the programme.

The course includes a Survival Skills for the Real World unit where artists can share ideas and talk about working in the current climate of COVID.

COVID has presented more challenges for artists  than just social-distancing and isolation. 

The pandemic is having a huge negative impact on opportunities for artists and the sector is becoming even more competitive. This is a particular challenge for unemployed artists who are new to the UK, emerging artists and those keen to reignite their careers. The landscape of COVID means, that now, more than ever,  there’s a need for artists to upskill, network, grow their profile, and share strategies and approaches.

The first unit, delivered by trainer, Linda Horsburgh related to building confidence, with lots of practical exercises, discussion as well as some theory. The unit was delivered to small groups in person, and online. Participants at the face-to-face sessions were, of course, suitably masked and socially distanced, and delighted to connect.

"Thanks for the session today. Confidence is something that fluctuates for me. I can go from feeling confident about my practise to feeling really low in confidence so today was helpful."

This programme is funded by the European Social Fund.


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