We meet storyteller Antonis ahead of London Stories: Made By Migrants.
How long have you lived in London?
I moved here from Limassol, Cyprus, and I have been here for just over 4 years.
Why did you want to take part in London Stories: Made By Migrants?
I just think it’s imperative for us to put faces and names against stereotypes. When I saw the open call I said to myself it’s absolutely something I have to apply for. We’re living in dangerous times where we just dehumanise people and we demonise particular minorities. Unfortunately migrants have always been historically discriminated against but now after Brexit and post-referendum I do feel it’s really the time to act and share our stories in the hope that we might instigate some change.
Have you faced any challenges in preparing your story?
My story goes through parts of my life that wouldn’t necessarily be the most uplifting listening experience. By no means am I saying that I have had the most dramatic life but my challenge was to look at my experiences, be objective, write those experiences down and then feel confident enough to share them. This production asks us to take the next step and to really project who we are and I think one of my challenges was to overcome my doubts and feel ready enough to reveal my story.
What do you hope audiences will take away from their experience listening to six stories?
As an individual I’d like audiences to see that we are made of blood, flesh and bones, just like they are. We all have differences but in our core, in our physiology, our anatomy and in our cognitive abilities we are the same and it’s a shame that certain political waves in this country would have people see otherwise. So I guess what I’d like audiences to walk away with is a feeling, not something quantitative, but something that’s inspired something within them to change.
What has been your favourite part of the project and the workshops so far?
Definitely the excitement of getting to externalise my story and then getting to hear other people’s stories. It really makes you bond with people because at first you enter a room full of strangers and you have no idea who they are but then by sharing your story you slowly warm up to them. You realise you’re not so different from each other and you can start chatting and having a good time. The overall vibe that we have as a team of storytellers is great.
> Find out more about London Stories: Made By Migrants, 4-26 November