To present a powerful, true story as an alternative to the traditional historical narrative of colonialism as ‘white’ oppression against ‘black’ submission.
To raise the self-esteem of individuals and communities through pride in their own cultural heritage and identity. From this strong position they are enabled to appreciate the differences and similarities of other cultures and ultimately the common life-affirming celebratory instinct of mankind.
The above 2 points will contribute to the healing of broken or pressurised communities, counteracting root causes of anti-social behaviour;
- feelings of powerlessness
- feelings of alienation
- disaffection of the young
- lack of integration between the generations
Who will benefit from the project?
The project is specifically aimed at those of British, Caribbean and African ethnicity. The cultural phenomena showcased by the project have equivalents and similarities with folk traditions throughout the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. These commonalities and inter-relationships will be brought out and explored by the Stories Beyond Boundaries events.
The story of cultural interaction in spite of colonial repression, and the resonance between the carnival traditions of disparate societies will be of interest to people of all ethnicities.
What difference will it make?
The telling of this story of genuine interaction and resonance between folk traditions of English and African/Caribbean origin presents a powerful alternative narrative to the false and unhelpful view of colonial history as ‘white people’ against ‘black people’. This is part of a larger healing process that;
- analyses the real roots of historical injustice
- unmasks historical inaccuracy that interprets broader class and economic issues as racial issues
- with this deeper understanding of history and where our society has come from communities are empowered to foster new bonds informed by what has gone before and to move forward with greater cultural respect and understanding.
In addition to this we believe that the pace of today’s cultural and societal changes can be unsettling and bewildering. This can lead to a sense of alienation especially for the young whose media dominated experience can feel excruciatingly isolated from the sense of community and life experience of previous generations.
We believe that this experience is an important contributing factor to social degeneration, the creation of anxiety, fear, lack of self-esteem, alienation and possibly drug-taking and violence.
This project celebrates strong cultural identities and instills cultural appreciation. The folk traditions involved are bright, exuberant and powerful. They will be appreciated by all and especially the young. Those who experience the Stories Beyond Boundaries events will be impressed with a strong sense of the value of these traditions, their own traditions, their community’s traditions, the traditions of many nation’s and the cultural heritage of humanity as an undivided whole.