We love our volunteers. Without them, your experience of Battersea Arts Centre wouldn’t be the same. To celebrate Volunteer Week, Maryam shares her story on how she first came to Battersea Arts Centre, and the projects she’s been involved with since.
My adventures with Battersea Arts Centre started with London Stories: Made By Migrants in 2016. It was so exciting to be selected as one of the storytellers. I had an amazing time during the show and telling my life story to total strangers was such a therapeutic experience. I learnt so much about myself and didn’t want it to end. I met amazing people and formed new friendships. All of us storytellers were so touched by the production team, they were so caring and loving, and all the staff and volunteers that helped us through the show created such a memorable time for us all.
I knew I couldn’t just leave Battersea Arts Centre after the show. I decided to volunteer and heard about the volunteer storyteller tour guides. When I got selected I had no idea that it would be a whole new exciting adventure. I met more amazing people and had so much fun in the group. We had workshops with theatre maker Nick Cassenbaum, and he shared his skills and spent time with each of us, encouraging and helping us find our personal stories about the building.
At first I was overwhelmed by the rich history of the building, but my deep obsession with the dark, weird and wonderful soon emerged and took me by surprise. It took me to the underworld of Battersea Arts Centre and revealed a tale full of synchronicities weaving past and present events while digging into the dark corners summoning the character of the devil. I had no idea such a project could give me so much joy. I felt like an archaeologist going through layers and finding more and more.
Everything went so beautifully and the result was ten personal tours that are very different in subject matter. They approach and portray the complex and diverse history of Battersea Arts Centre and help everyone realise why every time they walk through the doors they feel like they are in a unique place.
Also, see a film screening based on London Stories: Made By Migrants as part of our Refugee Week Double Bill.