Refugee & Migrant Centre, Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary & Vimal Korpal
Vimal Korpal worked with the Refugee and Migrant Centre and Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary to meet new arrivals to the area and city. Hecollected stories and poems from people he met through these organisations as well as those who are business owners in Whitmore Reans.
Vimal asked open questions to discover more about the experiences of the people he met:
What does home mean to you? What issues did you face when you tried to settle? What things would you like to see in Whitmore Reans area? What do you like about this area?What’s your favourite food? What role does spirituality play in your life? What does Newhampton Arts Centre offer? What would you like to see more of at Newhampton Arts Centre?
Vimal created a walking tour around the Whitmore Reans area to share these stories, which took people on a journey visiting a gurdwara, a Kurdish store, a Persian rug shop, a stop at a traditional Asian clothing store selling salwars and kameez, a shortstroll through West Park, winding through the back streets with a visit to a good old British pub. Interviews with contributors can be viewed here – such as with Lydia’s story, exhibited in October 2022.A map of the walk has been created by Kremena Dimitrova and includes patterns inspired by Persian Rugs.
The Refugee and Migrant Centre (RMC) provides free casework, advice and guidance on immigration, housing/homelessness/destitution, welfare, education and health. Alongside this, RMC also provide English classes, dedicated support with citizenship and employment and run Afghan and Syrian Resettlement Schemes. www.rmcentre.org.uk
Vimal Korpal is a creative whose work has included film, theatre, education, health, wellbeing and storytelling. Vimal has recently been developing and creating walking tours with a difference. His tours visit areas which are perceived as socially economically deprived, but from the tours you soon find out how rich they are with history and local people’s stories, giving you the opportunity to visit spaces you would not normally visit.
Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary is led by a group of volunteers committed to ensuring Wolverhampton is a place of welcome and safety. They run a weekly drop-in centre, occasional community events and activities, and support Schools of Sanctuary. www.wolverhampton.cityofsanctuary.org
Thanks to all of the contributors to this project: Lydia, Mohammed Ali, Hadi, Amanda Bevan, Bescara, Shalini, Zeba, Maria, Christine McGowan, Asad, Deacon of Wolverhampton, Ramgharia Sabha Gurdwara, Pak Continental, Abbas Baig, Jahanara Begum, Mrs Akhtar at M&S Fashion, Ahmed at Rayin Supermarket, Sinha at Persian Rug Centre, DIY shop, Usma at Newhampton Afro Caribbean mini market, The Stile Inn, Wolverhampton City of Sanctuary and Wolverhampton Refugee and Migrant Centre.
Watch our highlighted video below and you can watch all videos via our YouTube Channel