Have Your Say (Hope and Celebration)

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 (Hope and Celebration) 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 the Journeys Festival’s Roots Groups and our artists and poets Toreh O'Garro, Xia Leon Sloane and Eleanor Austin.


Hope and Celebration


I can see many rains and flowers,

trees and steps, bright bushes

and the patio with its nest of flowers.


Clothes and my blue blanket, tears

nibbled by so much warmth, sown

together with the long threads of lockdown hours.


All my books huddled around me,

their pages noisy like children's voices.


I would like to help people

who have lost or never known

all this. Home. Food, clothes.

We have too much. I would like to help

like family: like brother, like sister,

like mum, like dad. I think it helps

everything: clothes, money. Everything, body.

Touching everything. Looking. Everything looking.


In my back garden, I will maybe open

a space, a little space for keeping

chickens. And every morning,

they can wake morning, I remember them singing

something almost like a lullaby, but shaped

for dawn. As night began

unfurling, they would make another song:

a small noise to show us

that it’s time to go to sleep.

It's a good memory.


My daddy is trying his best

to get ice cream

so we can get more sticks.

I'm trying to eat lots of ice cream so we have lots and lots

and lots of sticks but we need more

to make a bigger house.


I would like to own a very big house,

and have a creche in my home, a nursery

where people can drop kids.

A very big house with enough space

for childcare. See, who you are,

is who were when you were little.

Childhood sculpts you.


Ever since childhood, I was drawn

to this song for what it expresses:

the dream to have a unique world,

where people of different colours can stand together

and live in peace and live with joy.

I'm a French speaker, and when I was young

I didn't understand this,

but when I came to the UK

and learnt English, I started to see

that it is not just for a fleeting

glance at happiness,

but that the message is one which we need

even now that the writer has passed away,

a message which keeps ringing

into our own time. That is why

this is my favourite song.


This is a Pakistani song

sung by a little kid.

It's about how everyone should have equal rights

to education: poor kids

who can't afford to go to school,

girls, boys, and everybody

should be equal; it's about not bullying,

but helping one another.


I think I would like a normal house

with a garden, with space. Because in lockdown,

I miss having space.

A space you can make your own,

a garden you can watch flourish

through the rain and sunlight.

I miss having space.

Here in Manchester, the houses

are too busy — they crowd

together, knocking shoulders,

and there's no space.

A normal house with space,

with a garden. I can plant flowers.

I would like to plant sunflowers.


We have a very funny looking tree

called a katakataka.

It has little tiny seeds and they keep growing

on the edge and you can pull them

down with your fingers as if they want you

to take them. And if you drop them

in soil they grow again like that.

Next time I see you,

I will bring you all some katakataka seeds.

Drop them and they will grow and grow and grow.

Some people call it a resurrection plant

because it just keeps growing

and they won't die, so I'll give you some seeds

and you can try and planting them.


I can see many rains and flowers,

trees and steps, bright bushes

and the patio with its nest of flowers.

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

Have your Say (Hope and Celebration) 


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