Feruza Afewerki is one of nine artists who was commissioned by the Westway Trust to respond to the theme of “place”. As part of POP! Festival (Portobello Open Process Festival), you can see the culmination of her Gold & Ashes project: Our Stories. Find out more here.
We quickly caught up with her to find out more about how the project has been going…
How did you first get involved in photography?
I picked up a camera, while I was creative and events director for a social enterprise – I wanted to get better at telling stories visually and went into photography properly in April 2017, just taking photos of my friends and events. I found that I really loved being able to capture the truth in what I could see in others or a moment and quickly became a big passion of mine.
What can we expect at Gold & Ashes: Our Stories on Saturday 7th March? Who would you like to see attend?
Our Stories is an event that stays true to the heart of Gold & Ashes which is a photo series on the Grenfell community, our hope is to honour the stories and people who came from Grenfell and all those connected through loved ones and community. This Saturday we are also hosting a wellbeing afternoon from 3-6pm to further the conversation around self care and coming together to heal. This includes a panel of really amazing experts in this field from therapists to community coaches sharing on a panel, as well as an opportunity to hear from the incredible Young Grenfell NHS ambassadors.
The Our Stories event is from 7-9p.30m and it is focused on storytelling – through creative expressions and conversation. We want to share and listen to the stories at the heart of Grenfell and the often unheard voices that beautifully make up this community to build understanding and share our truth in a safe space.
You’ve been organising over a month of creative storytelling workshops for 13-18 year olds with guest practitioners giving their time and expertise. Have there been any particular highlights?
Yes, I have learnt so much from this experience and it has stretched me but also I have loved all the amazing stories and creativity that has come out of it. A highlight over the 6 weeks was seeing the young adults take the tools they’ve learnt from creative writing to taking photos and running with it to share their voice and own their own narrative.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?
Trust the process.
Our Stories is part of POP! Festival (Portobello Open-Process Festival) – are there any events you’re particularly excited about attending?
I’m really looking forward to seeing Masqueraded Memoirs on the 21st!
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