top of page

Our Voices Heard

Our Voices Heard’ is a creative songwriting and art project led by Jenna Fan, local musician and Director of Go Pop CIC, musician Tsungai Tsikirai and artist Ruth Fones.

Through a series of 12 workshops, women originally from Syria, Sudan and Botswana, now living in the Wakefield District, turned parts of their life stories into songs and artwork. The project aimed to bring women together, inform Wakefield people about real issues affecting their neighbours and improve the wellbeing of participants through creativity.

For nine weeks the women came together to discuss issues they felt strongly about. They discussed ideas, opinions and experiences and shared stories, hopes, dreams and nightmares. Jenna and Tsungai then took those discussions and crafted the women’s voices into lyrics, and then into songs. They worked together at the piano, Jenna playing with chords and melodies and Tsungai bringing her improvisational style of melodies and harmonies. The result is a fusion of styles with influences from Western, Syrian and African music. Drai Douglas (Drai Media) was sound engineer and producer.

For two weeks the project involved the participants creating visual artwork as a collective. Local artist Ruth Fones visited the group to listen to the songs and generate ideas in collaboration with the group, then delivered 2 creative classes. The women were able to choose an area of creativity they felt comfortable with. Participants were encouraged to share their own creative skills within their cultures, some of these included embroidery and crochet as well as drawing henna patterns. They drew on their memories, both positive and negative, or created work in response to a song or lyric. Some chose to escape from the stories and focus on mindful colouring, stencilling or pattern making. During these activities they were able to share stories as well as techniques, opening up further dialogue, reminiscing and connections.

The work is now presented in the cathedral  as a suggestive timeline from memories through to present day then looking towards the future. This timeline should be followed from right to left as this is how participants instinctively displayed their work following the Arabic language which is read right to left.

On Tuesday 16 January, the songs will be performed for the Free Lunchtime Concert at 13:00. All are welcome to come along and hear the musical culminations of weeks of artistic exploration.

Listen to the songs here:


Jenna Fan/Go Pop CIC

Tsungai Tsikirai/Mabiko Integrated Arts

Ruth Fones

Project Gallery

bottom of page