Have Your Say (How We See the World)

by Olympias Music Foundation

Have Your Say is a multi-media project culminating in three video-poems being presented at the festival, created from submissions by the public via social media and workshops on Zoom.


Led by Olympias Music Foundation, the workshops have connected members of Manchester City of Sanctuary and our very own Roots Group with artists working in spoken word, music and visual arts to produce collaborative creative interactions, and fun social get togethers during lockdown.


The responses we have been collecting respond to each of the festival’s three weekly themes: The World We Live In; How We See the World; and Hope and Celebration.


Click the video link to the right and go full screen to watch Have your Say (How We See the World) now.


Please click here to share your thoughts about Have Your Say and the chance to win £100 High Street Voucher plus a £50 donation to a charity of your choice.


With thanks for creative contributions from the wonderful people at Manchester City of Sanctuary, Olympias Music Foundation Children's Voices Choir, and Journeys Festival International’s Roots Groups and our artists and poets Toreh O'Garro, Xia Leon Sloane and Eleanor Austin.


How do we see the world? by Eleanor Austin

How do we see the world?

Sometimes, I can’t see it at all –

It’s like someone holds the remote

And sometimes plays with stop,

And sometimes plays with play.

Sometimes it’s like the world is sad and I can see it crying –

But it’s just raining and cloudy.

Sometimes my head is thinking and wary,

The world seems unwelcoming, dangerous, scary,

So who will look out for us?

How do we see the world

if it is agitated, unstable, and sick?

I don’t have a choice. But I am an adult, I don’t complain anyway.


When I look at the world with my eyes,

Sometimes I see it running to a disaster,

Where I live isn’t safe anymore,

Sometimes I don’t where I am.

I close my eyes.

My mind feels cloudy,

But I let the rain clean my thinking –

I smile at the world

and the world smiles back at me,

The world is promising me a hope, a future,

So I make a journey to the home inside my head.


I get up to start my journey –

Yes, it is long,

Yes, it is difficult,

But I need to do something.


I turn left at the blue tree and enter a garden

of flowers and seashells,

enchanted with sweet smells

of basil, tomatoes,

a bed where every plant grows,

a bed where every plant is sown

and painted by hand –

I pause, and I stand

With my face pressed against the window

Of a kitchen with a cupboard

Where I reach in and I pull out anything I can dream of;


I follow the trees round the back to a farm: A horse, rabbit, bear, and a pig are all there,

Making music, making fun,

In the warmth of the sun –

I smile at the friends,

And the friends smile back at me,

They welcome me in to play sticks and drink tea.

When I open my eyes,

We are all different colours,

But when I look with my head,

I see each one of us loves us.

My friends and I are from Cameroon, Nigeria, Pakistan, Manchester,

And that afternoon, we each speak in Urdu, French, Tigrinya, and English,

But we all speak the same language,

We understand, because we are a humanity in solidarity.


So if you’re looking out for me:

Smile, turn left at the blue tree…

With Olympias Music Foundation in partnership with ArtReach, City of Sanctuary, and Longsight Library.

Have your Say (How We See the World) 


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