Telling the Untold Stories of Kent

MotionHut has been hard at work over the past year  in collaboration with producer Helen Curston, the Medway African and Caribbean Association and Chatham Historic Dockyard to develop and shoot an engaging documentary film entitled “Untold Stories: A History of Black People In Kent”.

Untold Stories: A Documentary of Kent’s Black History looks at this popular county, well-known for its cathedral and castle but where less perhaps seems to be known about its multi-cultural past.

Featuring television presenter and former Blue Peter presenter Ayo Akinwolere, along with interviews and personal testimonies from local residents, the documentary explores the history of African and Caribbean people in Kent. Filmmaker Helen Curston, who has worked for nearly 14 years for the BBC within current affairs and documentaries, and is Senior Lecturer in Television Production at University for the Creative Arts, said: “as part of the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Black History Live’ project, it aims to develop a better understanding of the diversity of the Kent region, highlighting important untold stories from Kent’s multi-cultural history.”

Having premiered at the Chatham Historic Dockyard in early October as part of Black History Month, and forming part of an installation piece, Helen adds: “The project seeks to influence viewer’s experience and understanding of hitherto untold narratives and histories from both high profile and less well-known figures – it will raise the profile and awareness of Kent’s black history and to connect communities with a shared history of the area.

“Viewers are able to learn more about these stories through expert and personal testimony, of both ancestors of these figures and volunteer researchers and young actors who have engaged with the wider Black History Live project. It will challenge established notions of Britain’s history by highlighting the contribution of Kent’s Afro-Caribbean population to the arts, culture, politics and other aspects of socioeconomic development, challenging racial and cultural stereotypes.”

A piece on the film and its premiere aired on BBC News South East.