Story and photo by Samuel Humphrey
‘Our Cultures’ is an organisation that aims to help people from different countries understand each other better by hosting free monthly film screenings. On 12th September I visited to watch a screening of three documentaries about Norway.
Jozef Palguta, graphic designer, began the project in January 2016 after working as a translator in the NHS and meeting people with many cultural identities.
He says, “Graphic design and visual communication are used to inform, educate and change attitudes towards products so why not towards different cultures?”
Each month ‘Our Cultures’ takes a country (so far these have included Slovakia, Ghana, Mexico, Germany, India, and France) and displays artworks and maps via Facebook. Then they organise a food tasting event and screen documentaries so that participants like myself get a real idea of their neighbours; both those next door and those globally. These events are free so as to make them truly accessible and inviting to all. Jozef told the Messenger:
“I hope that Our Cultures helps the smaller community integrate into the larger community and that the larger community has a better understanding of the minority. I want to help people acclimatise to British culture and provide an opportunity for people who are here to share theirs” said Jozef who introduces each film with pertinent facts and history.
“I believe that not understanding is taking us backwards.”
The three films about Norway were excellent and the venue is warm and comfortable. People seemed very at home enjoying the refreshments and chatting with each other.
‘Our Cultures’ is not only a great evening but the ethos behind it is necessary and good. A future development is a walking group taking refugees, many of whom are inevitably experiencing depression and anxiety, out into the Peak District.
Next month ‘Our Cultures’ will be taking a detailed look at Russia and everyone is indeed very welcome.
Film screenings are held at ‘The Welcome Centre’ at Christ Church on Pitsmoor Road on the first Tuesday of every month at 6.15pm. You can find out more on the ‘Our Cultures’ Facebook page www.facebook.com/ ourculturescic