Cumbria Multicultural Women’s Network brings together women of diverse cultures now living in Cumbria, for the purpose of acknowledging and celebrating individual heritage and traditions, sharing unique and collective experience, and nurturing skills and confidence; thus enhancing abilities to integrate with local community and pursue new opportunities.

What We Do

Educational Presentations . . .

 Living in a new culture can sem lonely and isolating in the early stages, coping with with different basic foods, different weather and a different language. And one of the sad additional frustrations is the sense of needing to explain yourself to everyone you meet.  

 CMWN has developed the use of various media to enable women to tell their own personal stories and their stories from home, in simple ways - through the use of film, sound, photographs, writing and other art forms.

 Film- Alien Films is the media group of CMWN.  The group produce short documentaries in film and sound which offer the power of self expression to any woman who wants to tell her stories.  The films are shared at celebrations within the network but are also available and widely used by schools, colleges and universities, as well as local authorities and civic groups.  In addition, the police, fire service, ambulance services and hospitals have shown interest in their potential for internal traing purposes of staff.

Some of our titles: A Tale of Migrant Mothers; Away from Home; My Homeland;

Many of our members use photography for leisure and hobby satisfactions and we offer regular training sessions through our projects to develop skills further.  Members regularly document our major projects and through links with partners, we use photography to further our aims of creating wider awareness leading to social change. 

Partners: Visible Voice

Photo Journeys.  Women are proud to show the stories of their own and their families journeys across cultures and many do so through the use of albums filled with texts and family photos which outline their movement through time and across borders.  

With the owner’s permission, the albums are shown in exhibitions and at CMWN celebrations.

Poetry and prose writing offers a potent medium for drawing on important changes and moments in our lives.  Learning to write for others to read can offer a powerful satisfaction and relief to women when they find they can express their deepest sense of themselves, and can mediate the weighing of things that may have been lost against potential gains for their children and themselves.  

Creative writing groups are a continuing feature of our work.

 New Voices in Cumbria: a book of poetry and prose was published in 2009. 

Art Forms. Some of our members are established artists. We also engage with a variety of professional artists to offer possibilities of creating art works in paper, textile, photography, ceramics, and sculptural forms.  These activities also offer developments in personal and social well being for those who engage with them.

Multi-Cultural Story Sacks  Members  from Kosovo and Albania, Egypt, Thailand and the Philippines have contributed stories and skills to make colourful Story Sacks for use in local primary schools.   Members take part in informative presentations of their own traditions and culture in local schools.  These presentations form part of a continuous community activity.

2012: In Translation: drawing and sculpture / preparing for a National exhibition / associated skills.
2011: ‘The Veil’. BBC project ‘Writing for radio’
2010: Visible Voice - Photographic exhibitions around the world, give opportunities for photographers in the group to develop their skills and submit photos for exhibition.

2009: ‘Ruth’ No Nonsense Theatre.  Drawing, painting, textiles, ceramics.
2009: Lakes Alive:  flag making
2008 - 9: Story Sacks created for use by local primary schools.
2008: Sweet Dreams:  Artist, Christine Dawson.  Photography

2007: Alien Films. Migrant Stories; Reflections
2007: Photo Journeys.  Exhibition ‘Migration –migracija’, Curator Wendy Rowe. Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

International week in schools: 2008 
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"I want to create a diary – a journal about my personal experience of my new life in the UK."