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Fifth Word Theatre
This is a series of 9 short new audio stories inspired by oral history interviews of Zimbabwean-born residents living in Nottingham.
Director . Anastasia Osei-Kuffour

About the project by Fifth Word : 

In partnership with Nottingham City Libraries and funded by the National Lottery’s Heritage Fund, “We Need New Stories” is an intergenerational oral history project that runs alongside our new touring production of ‘We Need New Names’ by Mufaro Makubika, based on the book by NoViolet Bulawayo.

“We Need New Stories” saw us work with young people of African heritage in the Nottingham area from Autumn 2022 onwards. After undertaking training in oral history, photography, film-making and audio skills, the young people interviewed first-generation Zimbabwean migrants in Nottingham, using their new skills to gather the interviewees’ personal stories of migration. Professional playwright Zodwa Nyoni then dramatised these interviews into a series of audio plays. The audio plays are now available for free online.

Young people received first-hand experience of working in a creative environment and took portrait photographs of the interviewees under the guidance of a professional photographer. They shadowed professional directors, actors and sound designers during the recording process of the interviews and the audio dramas created from them. As well as being released online, the final audio dramas will be showcased in a pop-up touring exhibition that accompanies the tour of WE NEED NEW NAMES, along with a range of photography, and personal ephemera from the people that were interviewed.

The recorded interviews and accompanying material will be stored in Nottingham City Libraries archive so that future generations can access them; and will be made available online via Fifth Word’s and Nottingham Libraries websites. The project will help to share personal migrant experiences and will celebrate the integral contribution of people from the African diaspora to Nottingham’s social heritage.

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