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Photographic impressions at Leicester Museums and Galleries

This summer, the Leicester ROOTS group got to know Leicester Museums and Galleries in more depth - through a photographic angle.

The ROOTS group is a collective of people from sanctuary-seeking and forced migration backgrounds, based each in Leicester, Manchester and Portsmouth. Journeys Festival International launched the ROOTS programme to provide the group members with opportunities to learn new creative skills and gain insights in the artistic and cultural scenes through workshops and trips in each city. Earlier this summer, the ROOTS group in Leicester partnered with Leicester Museum and Art Gallery - which is now a Museum of Sanctuary - to participate in their Leicester Global City project over 3 sessions. The main aim of the project was to equip the group with more skills around photography and picture framing as well as a chance to get a more hands-on experience in the arts through producing and exhibiting high-quality artworks. The team at Leicester Museums and Galleries have created exciting sessions with gallery and exhibition tours at New Walk and Newarke Museums, with a celebration event for the ROOTS group following at the end of September to see their framed work exhibited.

The first session took place at New Walk Museum, visiting the 'Wildlife Photography of the Year’ exhibition and getting into the topic of photography, gaining insights into various photographic elements and applying this newly learnt knowledge by taking pictures outside the museum. During their photographic journeys, the group members became more observant of different elements and patterns that could be photographed, as ROOTS member Mehvin stated: "Now I want to take pictures of every pattern I see throughout the city!"

In the second session, the group were taken on a tour around Newarke Houses Museum and its stunning garden, learning more about Leicester's booming manufacturing industries and the history of South Asians based in Uganda that were forced to migrate to Leicester, giving the group some insights into what life was like for migrants in the 1960s and 70s in Leicester.

The group is very much looking forward to the last session of the project, taking a trip to the beautiful Belgrave Gardens at the end of September, getting the chance to print and frame a photo that they have taken of their favourite location in Leicester.

We want to say special thanks to Linda Harding and Sadiq Ahamed at Leicester Museums and Galleries for putting this amazing programme together!

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