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I am Skillful, I am Talented Video

One of our guiding principles at Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary is “with, not for” – and that’s essentially how the idea for the ‘I am Skillful, I am Talented’ project came about. Inspired by the ‘Lift the Ban‘ campaign, we knew that refugees and people seeking asylum were best placed to tell the story about underutilised talents and skills in their community, but they needed the tools and the space to do so.

We enlisted the help of local photographer and videographer, Matt Radcliffe, to help develop a training programme and provide learning support for our trainees. During their first session, they explored what drives and inspires them, what they wanted to achieve and what they needed to make that happen. That discussion set the tone and direction for the remainder of the project.

Through various sessions over the course of a few months, the team learned how to craft a good story and how to use their own perspectives as an important and valuable part of the filmmaking process.

They also learned and improved practical skills, such as:

  • storyboarding
  • pre-shoot planning
  • technical skills
  • interview skills
  • filming tips, &
  • editing.

We discovered that access to equipment was a big concern and barrier for our community. We are pleased to say that we have now invested in a bank of high-quality filming equipment. Refugees and people seeking asylum in the borough can now check these out from Calderdale Valley of Sanctuary to produce their own videos (subject to agreement).

Step-by-step, the trainees put their learning into practice to produce a short film – ‘I am skillful, I am talented’ – showcasing the many skills people seeking asylum in Calderdale have to offer. They also received support with personal filming projects, too!

All of our trainees have important messages they want to share, and that’s what motivated them to join the project – for instance, sharing their experiences, advocating for mental health, and giving a voice to the voiceless. We hope that the impact of this project will continue well into the future, enabling and empowering them to tell their own stories in the community.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Wharfedale Foundation for generously funding this groundbreaking project. Their support has been instrumental in amplifying the voices and talents of our trainees, allowing their narratives to be heard and celebrated.

Watch the video now!