A NEW podcast is telling the stories of black and brown people in the south west

South west writer Louisa Adjoa Parker has recently launched a new podcast series exploring the experiences of people with African, Asian and other non-white heritage in the rural south west.

One of the episodes features Bridport resident Becca on her life in the town.

Louisa, who is of English and Ghanaian heritage, created the podcast and associated blog as part of her research as New Talent Immersion Fellow with the South West Creative Technology Network. She hopes that by sharing these stories with the wider white community, they will learn about some of the issues ethnic minorities visible by colour can face in rural areas.

Louisa has lived in the west country since moving to south Devon in 1985, and has since lived in west Dorset and south Somerset.

She said: "I was interested to explore how these experiences can be communicated to the white community in a way they can understand. My research has strengthened my belief that it’s possible to imagine how it feels to walk in another’s shoes; although we may never fully understand another’s life without living it, we can grasp the essence of their experience. We can all relate to how it feels to be an outsider."

Episodes one and two of the podcast are available to listen to online. The series was first launched to the public at Mikrofest in Exeter. Louisa produced episode one with co-presenter Femi Oriogun-Williams, a musician and podcast producer, who grew up in Dorset. The pair interviewed people from Dorset, and reflected on the different experiences of life in white rural landscapes, and the importance of people’s non-white cultural heritage.

In episode two Louisa interviewed three women, also of mixed heritage, about their lives in Bridport, Cornwall and Somerset. The episode explores overt racism as well as the more subtle incidents, such as people touching your hair with or without permission.

Louisa has been writing about black and minority ethnic peoples’ stories for some time, and believes we need to be talking about race more in the south west.

She said: "Nationally there is a current conversation in the media. The experiences had by people of colour won’t affect many white people in the south west. Many believe that such issues belong in urban areas. But for people who aren’t white, it can be challenging negotiating our everyday lives and identities when we don’t see ourselves reflected in the landscape around us, and more often than not, experience racism."

Although the project is winding down now, Louisa is still keen to hear from people interested in telling their stories. You can contact her via the Where are you really from? blog whereareyoureallyfrom.co.uk

or at her website louisaadjoaparker.com

Listen to the podcast at soundcloud.com/where_are_you_really_from