When does anything begin? It is always difficult to pinpoint the beginnings of any idea, concept, or project.
Wayfinding: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Great Outdoors was successfully accepted for funding by the Heritage Lottery in November 2018. identity on tyne received permission to start the project in January 2019. We completed our first event with a visit to The Sill, Northumberland at the end of March 2019.
But none of these dates or happenings really reflect the beginning of the project; this desire to increase the participation, involvement and connection of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities with the natural heritage of the region.
We could trace the beginnings of this project back to the formation of identity in tyne itself, in 2003, when we gave our first interview to The Journal on the banks of the River Tyne at Newburn. We have always been a part of the landscape of the region but we’ve been either hidden or ignored. Through the years, of funding and projects and lean periods, as a group we have constantly come back together to share our love and connection to this region through workshops, performances and meetings out there in nature. Be that a walk on the beach or workshop in a forest to a creative retreat in Northumberland, even Iceland. Connecting with the land and sea is vital to our well-being as a group and as individuals.
Now we are ready to increase our engagement and visibility out there by eliminating some of the barriers which have prevented us and others like us to get out there in the first place and then frequently and consistently experience and care for nature
We’ll be exploring these barriers and issues in the coming months here. But at the moment, at this beginning of this phase of the project, the sky’s the limit.