The Bawso BME Oral Stories project aims to digitally record and preserve 25 oral histories and 25 digital stories (3-minute videos) from Bawso service users.
The project aligns with the Well-being and Future Generations Act Wales (2015) and promotes cohesion while contributing to the rich Welsh culture and the work of the National Museum Wales.
This is a partnership project between Bawso, the National Museum Wales, and the University of South Wales’ George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling. It has received funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for a year.
Meet the team working on Bawso BME stories
Nancy Lidubwi, Bawso VAW Policy Manager
Nancy Lidubwi woks for Bawso as Violence Against Women Policy Manager and she is the project lead. As such, her role is to retain managerial oversight throughout the project via a named member of staff.
She is responsible for overall grant management, monitoring and reporting, all project press and publicity, all aspects of recruitment, management and support of project participants.
Nancy is in charge of all public engagement with the project including being the first point of call for all enquiries regarding the project, attends all project workshops, monthly project management meeting and provides the USW team with any BAWSO specific training and inductions.
Other roles include management of contractual arrangements for project evaluation, co-ordination of a project steering group that includes representation from necessary stakeholders, BAWSO, and USW and managing relationships with project partners.
Nancy has worked with Bawso in different roles that included Head of Business Development in charge of fundraising and developing strategies to make the charity financially sustainable. She also worked as Head of training and service user engagement where she developed and delivered trainings to mainstream organisations and charities on violence against women from a black and minority ethnic perspective. This role included advocating for the rights of service users and ensuring that their voices are heard and included in policy design and implementation and their needs are put at the centre of service delivery.
Nancy holds an Msc Econ in Economics & Social Development degree and BA Sociology.
Dr Sophia Kier-Byfield, Bawso Oral Stories Project Associate, University of South Wales
As a postdoctoral researcher with interests in feminism and how the arts can amplify the voices and stories of minoritised communities, it is a privilege to be working with Bawso and National Museum Wales on this important project. Bawso’s frontline work is unique in the ways that it serves the specific needs of BME communities in Wales and beyond, and engaging with the museum as a site for storytelling will hopefully animate new histories about what it means for survivors to find a home in Wales.
As researcher at the University of South Wales, I am responsible for the day-to-day planning, organisation and delivery of the project. The first months of the project have involved getting to know my new workplace, colleagues and meeting with project partners. It has been a pleasure to meet Bawso colleagues across South Wales, curators at St Fagans and archivists at People’s Collection Wales, understand their structures and priorities with the project, and start getting plans in place for the participatory workshops for Bawso service users. Workshops will run between January and April 2024.
Speaking with frontline staff at Bawso has been particularly important in this process of familiarisation and planning. Figuring out which days of the week are most convenient for participants in different areas, organising our project around religious holidays and putting childcare in place are details that we hope will make participation more convenient and enjoyable. I have also been liaising with partners to figure out ways to make the workshops interesting and provide opportunities for participants not only to tell stories but also to experiment and play with how they are told and recorded.
Since the start of the project, I have successfully applied for support from the USW Civic Activity Fund to enable us to create enduring resources (teaching materials and a pamphlet of stories) that will help members of the public to keep engaging with the stories once the project has ended.
In order to deliver the project to the highest quality and ethical standards, these first months of my post have also involved induction at USW, refresher training in Digital Storytelling, oral history training with People’s Collection Wales, and further induction into the work of Bawso by attending and supporting their public events, such as the Forced Marriage Research Report launch at USW and White Ribbon Day at Llandaff Cathedral.
Professor Emily Underwood-Lee
I am delighted to be working on the Bawso Oral Stories project. My role in the project is leading on the storytelling and oral history collection. I hope we can enable Bawso service users to share the stories that they have been telling us that they want to be heard and preserved.
This project develops on my ongoing collaboration with Bawso and on my previous work exploring how to enable the voices of survivors to be heard. I am particularly keen to think about how we can work with the communities that Bawso supports to ensure that their stories are heard in the places, and by the people, that the storytellers themselves feel need to listen. We know that survivor voice should be at the centre of policy and practice and I hope that this project can make a contribution towards genuinely needs-led provision. This project will enable stories to be shared as part of the national collection and help us to build understanding of the breadth of experiences of the people of Wales. We also know that sharing stories can build connection, foster community and understanding, and improve wellbeing and I’m excited to be part of this work with Bawso’s service users.
My wider research work focuses on amplifying little heard personal stories from people whose voices may have been overlooked and from the difference that hearing these stories can make in policy, practice, and daily life for both teller and listener. I have a particular interest in stories of the maternal, gender, health/illness, and heritage. I am Professor of Performance Studies at the University of South Wales, where I am Co-Director of the George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling and co-chair the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse, and Sexual Violence Research Network Wales. My recent publications include the co-authored book Maternal Performance: Feminist Relations (Palgrave 2021), the edited collection Mothering Performance (Routledge 2022) and a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Storytelling, Self, Society on ‘Storytelling for Health’ (2019).