Just a week into the new academic year the whole Global Faculty, students and staff, departed on an August Diploma Period trip to Bristol for three intense days to focus on key issues and topics for the faculty – and to socialize and bond. From our base at the Youth Hostel, we went straight over to the nearby M-Shed museum to get a tour of the museum and a talk about Bristol’s slave trade history before we ventured out in the city to explore it further.
The next day was spent in the company of the Bristol Cable, an independent media cooperative in Bristol who had put together a varied and engaging programme around the role of independent media and with particular focus on the portrayal of immigrants in mainstream British media. The topic was particularly relevant, as Global Faculty is currently expanding its work with refugees and asylum seekers in Cardiff. The day started with a brief about the Bristol Cable before the students were assigned a task to complete throughout the day: to produce a video interview and a short written journalistic piece on the different topics we encountered. After this introduction, we enjoyed an engaging and eye-opening talk by Mike Jempson from the journalism ethics charity MediaWise, about how politicians and mainstream British media portray immigrants in a hostile, dehumanised and very often untruthful way. Throughout the day we also had sessions with Qerim Nuredini, a Bosnian refugee working for Refugee Action, and we visited Radio Ujima, an African-Caribbean radio station in Bristol. Another highlight of the day was an excellent lunch in a Sudanese restaurant in Easton, in the heart of Bristol’s immigrant community.
On the final day, we went back to the Stokes Croft part of the city (spotting lots of Banksy and other street art on the way) for workshops with the social enterprise CoExist and the CoExist Community Kitchen in Hamilton House community centre. Using 'Teatre of the oppressed' techniques and a string of other creative, exploratory and teambuilding games and exercises, staff and students together explored and discussed ideas of identity, power and privilege, before everyone made a gigantic, delicious lunch together – a perfect way to round off the trip. The Global Faculty is now ready to start a new exiting year, which will see new developments for the co-curricular faculty.