The Open Page
On Monday 7 June at 1pm listeners were encouraged to tune in to Skimstone Radio to hear songs, stories, spoken word pieces and poems inspired by narratives about the importance of learning and higher education opportunities for the diversity of communities including Gypsy, Roma, Traveller, Showmen and Boater (GTRSB) communities.
Our Artistic Director Claire Webster Saaremets, who hosted the programme with musician, academic and Irish Traveller Martin Gallagher, said: "It has been so interesting to hear how learning has been pursued, supported or hindered by individuals and institutions in the UK. The rich heritage, culture and passion of those we are working with on this project is completely inspiring."
Martin added: “For me, as an Irish Traveller, and many Gypsy, Roma and Traveller students around the UK, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month (GRTHM) is an important opportunity to educate the many institutions within society about the GRT culture, tradition and history, as well as the issues of discrimination and racism, poor health outcomes, and low educational attainment to name just a few issues that we face. This event provided a platform to speak with staff and students about how to make university life better for future GRT students.”
This exciting new arts project explored the complexity of how equality, belonging and identity affects access to higher education settings, and how places of learning can be respectfully and passionately developed for members of GTRSB.
The Open Page aimed to break the radio silence on GTRBS access and inclusion that has, for too long, existed in higher education, by celebrating the diverse voices and contributions of GTRSB communities and broadcasting Northumbria University, Newcastle's commitment to promoting a welcoming culture and environment for GTRSB members of our communities.
The Open Page was a partnership project between Skimstone Arts and Northumbria University Newcastle with support from Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation and Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and was shared as part of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month in June. The broadcast is available as a podcast to listen to here.