The story so far

I PACKED THIS MYSELF started as a project working with migrant workers and local communities in Cornwall. We found instances of exploitation, discrimination and outright racism and tried to find ways of bringing people together to increase understanding. We've run workshops across Cornwall in schools and with other groups. We're now taking this work forward by looking at unemployment in rural communities.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Workshops and next steps

Thinking about where the project is going and how it is developing... During the workshops we did earlier this year, it became clear that we were tackling a few crucial issues:
- the important role played by migrant workers in the economy. We visited schools, sometimes in the heart of agricultural areas depending on migrant labour, where students had little idea of the activity all around them.
- prejudice against the outsider - or anyone who is 'different' in close-knit communities. We heard examples of outright prejudice - 'They should go back to their own countries'. And the occasional very sad story of bullying and racism.
It's clear that in the current - dire - economy, that there are going to be changes in patterns of migrant labour. Many eastern Europeans, for example, have returned as economies at home have strengthened.
But many migrant workers remain in Cornwall. Agriculture, for example, still depends on them
So the emphasis of the workshops will turn rather more to the experience of migration and the experience of host communities. We just don't have the resources to undertake detailed surveys of local socio economic trends. But we can take fresh and challenging workshops into schools, with migrant workers, to hopefully open minds, stimulate debate and increase understanding.
But still - the first thing is to find a team!
Things are slowly coming together....