Voices is a collaborative project between FXU, Falmouth Anchor and HerCampus Exeter Cornwall, actively seeking liberation in our community, both on and offline, through magazine format, to be released in five volumes over the academic year. Harry Bishop, the FXU President for Community and Welfare, decided to launch the project with an explicit focus on true, individual experience, as opposed to disembodied statistics. The project, at its base level, is a celebration of diversity, understanding and unity.
The themes of each volume will run as follows:
- Black History Month
The plan is to accompany each volume release with a launch event, aiming to complement the nature of each volume, and the people whose stories are being told.
The first volume of Voices is compiled of stories from black students from both Falmouth University and University of Exeter Cornwall campuses. The students involved have spoken authentically about personal experiences of race and culture, how this affects university life, and formative moments in their lives as people of colour.
The launch event for Volume One was held at the AMATA Café on Tuesday 24th October, coinciding with Black History Month. Crucially, the first volume, and its’ important contribution to the celebration of diversity and authentic experience of race, will continue to be relevant far beyond the time constraints of Black History Month.
The launch event was an evening filled with empowering speeches, spoken word poetry. This was followed up by a less formal drinks reception, allowing the creators and contributors to celebrate the success of the project, look through the printed editions, and talk in more detail about the personal stories held within its pages.
“It is projects like this which are fundamentally important in changing the negative aspects of society.”
Through the platform of the first volume, voices have been raised, and the echo is surely to follow. In fact, this echo is already establishing itself in many areas: the online volumes have had readership both locally, in our campus libraries and internationally, in its online issu format, reaching as far as America.
For the students involved, Voices has been a direct means of getting their voices heard. Voices has made it clear that peoples’ experiences are worth listening to, and there is much to be learned from them. More specifically, the first edition has proven that the black community is far from being a monolithic group, and that difference should be recognised and celebrated.
Through providing a platform for personal stories, the Voices project is proving to be a successful mode of proactively seeking liberation: It has proven that voices speak louder than statistics. As more people read the volumes, which are available both online and in-print (in the libraries and FXU offices), the voices project is undeniably contributing to creating a community of understanding both on and beyond campus.
“Intersectionality is key to achieving a better world socially.”
Quoted in Nina Hanz’ Fal Anchor Article:
I opened the volume to a random page and I read a quote and I thought, ‘whoa.’ And it changed my perspective on everything. I didn’t know who said it, yet it completely changed my thinking. If you can open your mind, if you can change the way you think, and how you engage on a whole new level then you are epitomising what university is all about. This is the best way to engage in liberation groups and I really, really, really hope people will give this a chance.”
“As daunting as [being interviewed in FXU] may seem, it really is a safe space.”
Links to more info
To get involved or tell your story, pop in to the FXU offices for a chat, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Voices Launch – October 2017