A NEW multimedia centre has been launched to help the region’s African community use the latest technology to keep in touch with loved ones at home.
The North East of England African Community Association, based in Newcastle, has opened an internet cafe and after-school activity club complete with video and film production technology.
The original association building on Benfield Road, Newcastle, had been derelict for several years until it was revamped into the technological centre.
The official launch saw five African families take part in a three-day digital storytelling workshop as part of Changing Perspectives – a project which aims to create a multimedia archive to celebrate the heritage of African and Caribbean families living in the North East.
The launch event saw families create their own three-minute films for publication on the programme’s website and will also go forward to be broadcast at a world premiere event during black history month in October.
The workshop involved script writing, voice-over recording, and mastering industry-standard image and video editing production.
Participants used personal stories of their experience from living in both Africa and the North East and pictures from their family photo album.
Peter Adegbie, creator of the Changing Perspectives programme, said: “I am so pleased to launch the new NEEACA building with the Changing Perspectives digital storytelling project as this exemplifies what the new building is all about.
“The stories from the families will be truly inspirational and will give a real insight into their views of being of African descent and their experiences of living in the North East.
The project hopes to turn out a number of end products including a book, interactive website – where participating members will have their own web page which can be viewed by the public – an exhibition of words and pictures of the community, an oral testimony collection for the regional archives and documentary films.