Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) history projects
‘I have had the privilege of working with Louisa since 2005 when we worked together on our first black history project. Since then we have worked on 5 projects, each based on discovering the hidden stories of Dorset’s BAME communities. Her dedication, passion and insight have been an inspiration. Louisa is a champion for people disadvantaged by our current society, and she starts with her own story jaggedly, beautifully written in poetry. She has written 4 books and exhibitions for us, and each project has been successful, touring schools, libraries and museums in Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole reaching thousands of people.’
Louise Boston-Mammah, Development Education in Dorset (DEED).
Louisa can work with Arts and Heritage organisations to plan and deliver projects exploring the stories of BAME and other diverse communities. She has a range of experience initiating and delivering projects on BAME history in the South West. Louisa first discovered a passion for Britain’s multi-cultural history at Exeter University whilst studying a Racism and Migration module as part of her Sociology degree.
After graduating in 2004, Louisa worked with Lyme Regis Museum on the Ethnic Minorities in Lyme Regis project, which produced an exhibition and booklet detailing the presence of BAME people who had lived in the area. Whilst searching the archives, it became apparent that there were numerous untold histories of BAME people in Devon and Dorset.
In 2007 Louisa set up the Black History in Dorset project with DEED, which produced a book and exhibition exploring the presence of African and Caribbean people in Dorset over 400 years. Louisa has since delivered several projects in partnership with DEED, including 1944 We Were Here: African American GIs in Dorset, which gathered stories about the young men who came to Dorset in the build up to D-Day; Carnival Connexions; and The World of East Dorset project which explores children’s local and global connections. Louisa and DEED are currently working on the Positive Stories: Different Lives project, providing training to the Gypsy and Traveller community to support them to tell their stories. Details of these and DEED’s other exhibitions can be found here.
‘St Michael’s Middle School has been delighted to be a part of this Heritage Project, exploring how pupils from East Dorset came to live in the area. It has been wonderful to discover how many different parts of this world the pupils come from. We have thoroughly enjoyed it!’
Samantha Armstrong, teacher at St Michael’s
‘Children loved it, especially those who were in the book. Very proud! Each class has a copy. Global Learning lead teacher has done a display in entrance hall and feels the project has helped in their work.’
Gayle Edwards, teacher at Wimborne First School
Other BAME history projects include Forgotten Voices with Poole Museum; and All Different, All Dorset, set up and co-ordinated by Louisa, which explored BAME peoples experiences through images and stories. Later this project was developed by a partnership between Louisa and Bournemouth University into the All Different, All Dorset film.
Watch the play GI Joe, inspired by research from the 1944 We Were Here project here.
‘At last after all these years there is recognition of what these black soldiers did, and went through, and also what their children who were left behind felt and went through.’
‘A brilliant exhibition showing perceptive understanding of the time in Dorset. It helps to understand relations better. Well done!’
‘Fascinating insight into this period through local stories and memories. A very thought- provoking exhibition, beautifully presented.’
‘The 'Hidden Histories' display was fascinating and certainly did reveal a history of Dorset that remains largely hidden. The accompanying workshop was thought-provoking and informative. I would definitely urge other groups to make use of it.’
Community Development Officer, West Dorset District Council
‘Good work. Being of Trinidadian heritage, could relate on a number of levels. Thank you.’
‘Fascinating insight into a hidden past.’
‘Great to see the history of black people in the heart of Dorset. Inspiring.’