Speak As You Find performances are this week!

Speak As You Find is a living archive of the stories and experiences of local people, which have been cut and shaped into a unique performance project, led by community arts organisation, Magic Me. Using storytelling, local history and performance Speak As You Find will reveal layers of conversation and shared memories in this intimate project.

Part of a bigger project, Rooms With A View, it has involved more than 100 people of all ages from the East End. A core group, involving older women from the local area and students from the Mulberry School, collected stories and personal histories about living in Tower Hamlets and shaped them into an immersive theatre experience, led by Magic Me’s Associate Artist Sue Mayo, Sound Artist Dan Scott, Designer Amanda Mascarenhas and Tas Emiabata Theatre Practitioner, working with consulting artist Raj Bhari (Co-director of Talk For A Change). This exciting new production will transform a local building, allowing the audience to experience and interact with the stories as they navigate different spaces in an unmissable performance. Moving through the building the audience will encounter connections and disharmony, whispers and shouts, all deeply rooted in the lived experience of the community performers.

Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England National Lottery – Grants for the Arts and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, this site specific performance experiments with theatre and dialogue in a way not seen before. Stories and experiences were shared and collected at open sessions, informing the themes and content of the performance, prompting reaction and a dialogue with its audience.


Performances will be at 3pm on Friday 30th October, Saturday 31st October and Sunday 1st November at The Centre, 32 Merchant Street, Bow, London

Suitable for all ages from 8+

There is an element of walking throughout the building.

Tickets are available from Magic Me www.magicme.co.uk


About Magic Me

Magic Me is the UK’s leading creator of intergenerational arts projects, an award winning charity based in Tower Hamlets. Our award-winning programme brings together younger and older people for mutual learning, enjoyment and benefit.  For more information about our work, visit www.magicme.co.uk

Speak as you find is part of Magic Me’s Rooms with a View project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Arts Council England National Lottery – Grants for the Arts and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.


About Talk For A Change

At Talk for a Change we believe in the power of dialogue to bring about greater understanding, empathy and stronger relationships between different groups. Furthermore we believe it can strengthen the ‘social glue’, that sense of trust and understanding we all need in order to feel comfortable on our streets and in our neighbourhoods.  We work across the UK and internationally supporting local people to talk about what matters, and building capacity to manage tension and change positively.


About The Centre

Eastend Homes have 3 community centres in the Mile End area available for hire to suit many functions from Parties, celebrations, performance’s and conferences, meetings and an IT suite are also available for hire, check for availability by contacting Mary Olsen on: mary.olsen@eastendhomes.net 0203174 8106

APPG on Conflict Issues discuss good relations – 22nd October

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Conflict Issues


 Good Relations:

– community responses to hate, intolerance and divisiveness


The Houses of Parliament

Committee Room 70


Wednesday October 22nd 2014

7pm – 9pm

 ‘British values’, “too many migrants’, ‘Trojan horses’, ‘skivers versus strivers’. Heated national debates about issues such as identity, integration and fairness increasingly set one group against another. But what goes on at a local level? Are good relations across different social groups and identities even possible? And who is doing the invisible ‘social glue’ work, strengthening social bonds and trust across difference, and developing a sense of shared place and purpose?

Together with our partners International Alert (a peacebuilding organisation) we have been working with organisations across England to uncover the realities of how different communities get on together on the ground. Please join us to hear from people working at both a local and a national level  on strengthening good relations.

  TO BOOK A PLACE PLEASE RSVP to: appgci2@gmail.com

 Chaired by Chi Ongwara, MP for Newcastle Central.


Professor Miles Hewstone is from the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. Professor Hewstone is a researcher and expert on intergroup relations who has advised on public policy to the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Sunder Katwala is Director of British Future – an independent, non-partisan thinktank seeking to involve people in open conversations about identity and integration, migration and opportunity.

Jo Broadwood is a director at Talk for a Change, a CIC committed to strengthening, supporting and promoting good relations work. She is lead author of Untold Stories of Good Relations, the joint report from International Alert and Talk for a Change on good relations work happening across England.

Youth led charity, Aik Saath, based in Slough, promote understanding and cooperation across different identities with groups of young people.

People United bring people together using arts and creativity Tom Andrews will speak about their Kind Town project in Herne Bay, Kent,

Libby Malcolm, from Children North East works in Newcastle upon Tyne, bringing people together around a common purpose.

Lisa Cumming, Progamme for a Peaceful City, Bradford, West Yorkshire, is engaged in directly tackling tensions between different groups.


Impact Report

In 2013 Talk for a Change worked nationally, locally and internationally:-

  • incubating a network of Good Relations practitioners with 235 English organisations.
  • facilitating talks about Caste prejudice with faith and social development groups and UK government.
  • supporting 9 community groups in Tower Hamlets to work in their neighbourhoods cohesively.
  • training 65 Local Authority staff in Yorkshire to talk about tough topics undermining good relations with local residents.
  • delivering community cohesion and peace building work with community members, local government and national government in Libya.
  • researching and publishing Building Resilience with Young People and Communities.
  • contributing to policy and practice discussions at 18 UK events.

In 2013 we worked in partnership with:-

Building Resilience with Young People and Communities

After interviews with 700 young people (undertaken by our partners Kaizen and Young Advisors) and 40 professionals, and lots of literature and dvd analysis, here  is our latest publication, and our carefully considered suggestions – mainly for youth agencies and community workers to consider in order to build young people and community’s resilience to future disorder http://www.talkforachange.co.uk/publications/

Its tough to summarise but the aspects of this that stick with me are how as adults we can contribute to young peoples’  resilience by being better at sharing power with them, better at helping them to contribute to communities, better at talking about them as assets and resources.

I hope you have a quick look at what we are suggesting. Many many thanks to all of those who took part.

Our work in Libya continues

Talk for a Change and Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI) collaborate in Libya

Talk for a Change is currently collaborating with Peaceful Change Initiative (PCI) on a project aimed at improving human security and local development in Libya.

Our work is an on-going partnership, rooted in our shared commitment to peace building and strengthening social cohesion. Having previously worked at the local level in Sirte and Bane Wallid, for my second visit I worked with the Ministry of Local Governance in Tripoli, providing strategic planning expertise for ‘conflict sensitive development’ in Libya.

We delivered workshops for representatives from different ministerial departments, aiming to support them to develop strategies that would improve relationships between communities and local authority representatives, whilst also getting them to think about how they could strengthen relationships between different community groups

Again I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of civil society and government leaders that I worked with to pursue a vision based on trust, commonality and visible social justice.

I am also looking forward to attending the Libya Working Group discussion hosted by the Chatham House Middle East and North Africa Programme in partnership with the Peaceful Change initiative later this month.
Watch this space……………

Raj Bhari
Company Director