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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Tina Gharavi
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The Kooch Cinema Project was established in 2002 by filmmaker Tina Gharavi, in an effort to bring together members of the Middle-Eastern community in the North East of England (mainly of refugee and asylum backgrounds) to share their experiences with the wider community while training them in media production skills. Kooch is a Farsi word meaning ‘nomad’ or ‘migratory’. The ethos of the project lies in encouraging positive dialogue and enabling individuals to develop artistic skills in a creative and challenging environment. Over the last 8 years, members of Kooch have produced an impressive portfolio of over 30 short films, which have screened in festivals across the UK and internationally. The work expanded into anti-racism work in schools alongside such projects as ‘Flight Paths’ and also involved such diverse practices such as performance, poetry, installations, storytelling and photography. Engagement with community through innovative community-based practice has been at the heart of Gharavi’s research for many years. 2006 saw the creation of i-Kooch, an experimental interactive web-based narrative project that enabled project members to gain digital media skills using new media tools and technologies, while expressing their own unique stories of migration and transition. The project takes the form of a website, continually developed and updated by Kooch group members. Each member develops a non-linear narrative story that unfolds across a timeline that viewers can interact with (including reading blogs, MSN chat, etc). This virtual landscape represents the journeys of migration from their homeland, via the transit countries, to Britain. This brought the work closer to interactive and cutting edge production and afforded wider distribution possibilities for the work. Later in 2007, the project took i-Kooch member trained workshop leadership into Schools to deliver anti-racism awareness training. This was an example of the development of the project where members of the group moved forward in being participants, to trainees and finally to employees who were given work skills and employment experience. From 2008, Bridge + Tunnel worked more closely with young refugees and asylum seekers (aged 9- 25) as they developed their feature film project, Ali in Wonderland. This phase of the project saw volunteering and work-based learning become central to the delivery of training and educational outputs and ensured that the project remained relevant and effective.
Artist(s): Gharavi T
Publication type: Artefact
Publication status: Published
Venue: Nomad Cultural Forum
Source Publication Date: 2006
Type of Work: Community Media Project / Interactive Web Based Narrative