Roads from the Past GRT Animation project


What did you find out?

We found out that Gypsy Roma and Traveller History is not taught in schools and GRT History month is not celebrated. We found out that lots of Gorja people are often asked What are we supposed to call you all? Where do you come from? What have you got to do with each other? We also found out that many Gypsies Roma and Travellers didn’t know their own history.

What do you want to change?

We wanted to make it easy for GRT and Gorja people to understand their own history and to make it as easy as possible for schools to include Gypsy Roma and Traveller History in schools. We wanted to make Gypsy Roma and Traveller pupils feel included in school.

What do you recommend?

After learning about their history and putting together a timeline, the young people we worked with decided the best way to tell the story would be by making and animation. We started off looking a different animation styles and the young people made a story board based on the time line and included drawings and collages of what they wanted it to look like with the help of a graphic artist.

One of the young people liked writing more than drawing so she chose to be the ‘script advisor’ and she worked with the script writer to develop the story and made sure it was very clear and in a language that everybody could understand.

Whilst an animator was making the film based on the script and the drawings the young people worked with a teacher and they helped her write an assembly and some different ideas for lessons in English, History, Art and PHSE all based on the film and their real life experiences in schools.

You can see the film and download the packs here

You can also listen to this audio:

  • advice

    What advice would you give?

    We know that sometimes young Gypsies and Travellers don’t feel comfortable in school so we thought we should spend some time finding out why that is and what POSITIVE things could be done to try and help. Before we chose the theme we spoke to lots of young people of different ages from different places with different circumstances to find out if there was a common theme and talked to them about different solutions. Then we worked with a group and worked out what individuals interests were, how they like to be involved and what role they wanted to have in the ‘production’ making clear it was real joint effort and everyone deserved their credit.

    How did you include people?

    We made sure that young people we were working with had the chance to give us their opinions all through the process. We made sure that people were given the chance to express themselves in different ways as a group and individually / anonymously. We made it easier by travelling to where the young people were and most the staff and helpers on the project were Gypsy and Traveller people themselves.

    What did you enjoy?

    “I am proud to be part of a creative peoples.” Leanne “ I loved watching all the different animations and learning the history” Scarlett “I loved that this might shown in all schools one day it made really proud to be making a difference” Any other advice? Some days the hours felt long, I would like to have done more days and less hours each day” “The history was interesting but I didn’t always get it, it would have been good to turn it in to a game or something. I think it will be good when we see our work come to life in animation”
  • impact

    What has changed?

    So  far the film the young people made has been watched more than 50,000 times in schools, HMPs and wider public.

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