For Radiophrenia 2019 we commissioned Siobhain Ma, sound artist and one half of Sister Collective, to work with New Young Peers Scotland, a group of young unaccompanied asylum seekers and refugees living in Glasgow.
With the support of their partners – Glasgow Clyde College, Ypeople, and Glasgow Social Work Department – this group has come together to create a peer-to-peer mentoring network, which supports other young people arriving alone in Glasgow, unable to speak the language.
The three pieces produced for Radiophrenia take inspiration from audio guides, aiming to give advice to newly arrived young people. These pieces also challenge the comfort and comprehension English speakers usually have when listening to the radio in the UK – so, even if you don’t understand what’s being said, just focus on the sound of the voices.
The group facilitators were Lyn Ma, and Lorraine Ward.
The pieces can be heard as follows:
Sleep – Tuesday 14th May at 10am
Weather – Wednesday 15th May at 12:20pm
Getting Lost – Monday 20th May at 11:15am.
Credits for the three pieces and translations:
In Sleep we hear:
David –from Democratic Republic of Congo – speaking in Kinyamulenge;
Ruwayda–from Somalia – speaking in Bajuni;
Mohamed –from Syria – speaking in Arabic ;
and Reza – from Iran – whose language is Farsi, but who spoke in English.
Help with sleep
Hi my dear friend,
How are you? I want to talk to you about having problems with sleeping.
We can feel the time you are in. But there is nothing to worry about. All of us have been through the same situation as you are in at the moment, trying to cope with how to go to sleep. But thankfully we got over it after a while.
Obviously, it can be hard being far from your family and in a new place and everything is new and sometimes it all seems strange for you at the start. Maybe it is very hard to cope with this situation but my dear friend I promise you will be cool, fine, ok soon.
Some things that may help you go to sleep are:
1. Try and read something
2. Listen to music
3. Join a gym and do some exercise
4. Take a hot shower or bath
5. Imagine a lovely place in your mind, a beach or a forest think about it and breath in and out slowly
6. Don’t drink fizzy drinks like Irn Bru or Coke or energy drinks like Red Bull
7. Don’t drink tea and coffee before you go to bed
Have a lovely sleep and sweet dreams!
In ‘Weather’ we hear:
Mohamed –from Syria – speaking in Arabic;
Christine–from Democratic Republic of Congo – speaking in Kinyamulenge;
Mahad – from Somalia – speaking in Somali;
and Kokob – from Eritrea – whose language is Tigrinya, but who spoke in English.
Help with the weather
Hi how are you? I want to talk to you about the weather in Scotland.
You might have some hard times to get used to the weather in Scotland. However, don’t worry I will give you some tips on how to get used to it quickly.
1. You should always have a heavy coat and a good hoodie.
2. You should also have some waterproof boots or shoes
3. Umbrellas can be useful, unless it is really windy, but you will notice that most people don’t use them.
4. There isn’t much sun here, so make the most of it when there is sunshine.
5. Scotland is a place where you can have four seasons in one day, so make sure you are fully prepared and have everything you need in your backpack. Things like a hat, scarf, gloves are useful.
6. Having many layers on is a good way to change between each season.
The weather can make you feel bad and very cold. You can feel like you don’t want to stay inside but it is important to try and go outside. You can do lots of activities running is a good way to keep fit and warm. You will get used to it – it just takes time.
In ‘Getting Lost’ we hear:
Mohamed Khan –from Afghanistan – speaking in Pushto;
Hawi–from Ethiopia – speaking in Oromo;
Mohamed –from Syria – whose language is Arabic, but who spoke in English;
Ruwayda–from Somalia – speaking Bajuni;
and David –from Democratic Republic of Congo – speaking in Kinyamulenge.
Help with being lost
Hi how are you?
I am here to help by telling you what you can do if you get lost in this city or any other area. At first everything looks the same but in time you will notice it doesn’t and you will begin to get to know places. You will get scared but people are friendly and can help you.
1. Always have your address with you.
2. Keep emergency phone numbers like police, social worker, guardian and friends.
3. Ask someone to help you by showing them your address.
4. Walk around by yourself and explore new places.
Help with living in a new place.
Hi how are you? I want to talk to you about living in a new place.
When you first come to a new place you will feel scared, empty and lonely. Because you are new and you don’t know anybody and you can’t go anywhere. You might feel lonely, bored and have no confidence. So it is a very hard time to go through. However, you don’t have to give up because there are people who care about you.
You might feel lost and in such a dark place but it always takes time to see the light and we have been there so we know that you will see it too.
Because Glasgow is a lovely city with friendly people. You have lots of opportunities here to progress and get a better life in many ways. You can go to college and learn English and make friends. You will have a house and you will be safe. Remember, everything will be fine.
Other voices include Hermon – Eritrea/Tigrinya, Hamid Iran/Farsi, Ibrahem – Syria/Arabic, and Florida – Albania/Albanian.