Shahrazad - Letters to Europe & Digital Stories

Between the 23rd and the 27th of February New Writing Partnership will offer four schools in Norfolk - Notredame High, Sprowston High, Costessey Junior and Wymondham High - the chance to participate in the Shahrazad Letters to Europe project. Together with the writers George Szirtes, Lisa D’Onofrio and Helen Ivory, who are from this country and abroad, they will work on a series of ‘Letters to Europe’ that will represent the young people of Norfolk, England and Britain as part of this international project.

As the project will be dealing with the notion of Europe, students will be asked to explore the following:

• Europe as an abstract idea
• Europe as an economic and political power
• Europe as a cultural entity
• Europe as a number of individual persons (different languages, beliefs)

Through their letters they will express their feelings and thoughts on a range of issues, including their hopes for the future of Europe, European identity, Europe as a home and place of belonging, and as an entity that supports those that seek sanctuary from human rights abuses.

Students from each of the four participating schools will then also be given the opportunity to create two minute long digital stories exploring the different matters their letters cover. The BBC is supporting this initiative through its BBC Voices team and will be delivering the digital story workshop sessions for the young people involved. A selection of the digital stories created will be screened throughout Refuge Week (15th -21st of June) at the BBC venue at the Forum alongside films created by other Cities of Refuge (Stockholm, Stavangar and Barcelona).

The New Writing Partnership has launched the Shahrazad Letters to Europe project as part of its Norwich City of Refuge programme bringing six Cities of Refuge’s work together: Norwich, Stockholm, Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt and Stavangar.

About Shahrazad – Stories for Life

The Shahrazad project is an offshoot of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). The aim of the project is to open up a free space in Europe for writers from all over the world to connect and release their stories. These will be created, told and disseminated by poets, journalists, novelists, editors, cartoonists, translators and essayists who are persecuted and silenced in their own homelands. Human rights, free speech, diversity and solidarity are core values within the project.

For more details on Shahrazad see