Still from Ugwumpiti
Who are they?
For nearly three years, Stories & Supper have been hosting their regular, socially-conscious supper clubs across Waltham Forest. They came about as a response to the hostility in politics and media around migration, with the aim of bringing together refugees, recent and long-term migrants and local residents over food and stories.
Their ethos: the more people sharing their stories, the more personal connections made to challenge the wider narrative of negativity around migration (their Why Stories Matter blog is well worth finding five for). It's all about creating spaces for people to feel welcome and for meaningful encounters to happen.
What are they up to at Leytonstone Loves Film?
They’ll be screening Eithnie Nightingale’s Ugwumpiti, a highly personal document of the life of Hackney musician Maurice Nwokeji. Nwokeji recounts in unflinching detail his journey from warring Biafra to the UK as a nine year old refugee, with a soundtrack entirely composed by his band One Jah.
Phosphoros Theatre’s Syed Najibi, one of a company of actors who all came to the UK as unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, will also perform an extract from the company’s latest show before joining Nwokeji in conversation about their shared experiences.
There’ll also (of course!) be food with delicious Hyderabadi dishes from their chef, Leytonstone resident, Shahnaz.
How did they come across Maurice Nwokeji’s story?
Helen Taylor, director: “Maurice heard about our project when we were running a series of workshops and story cafes earlier in the year with Queen Mary University. He came initially to support the newly arrived refugees in the team, but found himself sharing his own story. That’s how we heard about the film.
Ugwumpiti is a beautiful and moving account of what it’s like to be a child living through war and hunger and to then find yourself in the entirely different context of London. But the film is also an inspiring tribute to the strength of the human spirit, the power of love and the triumph of hope. Maurice is a big and beautiful character and his personality shines through.”
Why does Leytonstone mean to them?
Helen: “Leytonstone was pretty much the first place I lived in London back in the early ’90s. I lived at the Green Man end of the Whipps Cross Rd when there were still cows on the roundabout. This was before the M11 link road changed the look and feel of it all. I’ve been back in the borough for 19 years now and I love its diversity and creativity, the green spaces and big skies.”
How can you get involved?
Come along to their screening and listen to some stories at their Leytonstone Loves Film event, or catch one of their weekly meet-ups and regular supper clubs. Everyone is welcome and they’re always looking for new members of the team. Reach out on Facebook or Twitter.
They’re also releasing a book of recipes and stories More than Recipes with the support of Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019. Pre-order it through their Kickstarter, come along to their pre-launch supper on 16th November and, of course, buy it for all your relatives this Christmas!GO BACK