Women of Newport
2140. Kamila Jarczak
Kamila Jarczak, from Newport, is a photographer who created an exhibition ‘Women of Newport’ in 2019 to celebrate local women which has now grown into a community network running artistic workshops featuring photography, pottery, painting and creative writing and the group also photograph local events.
After moving to Newport in 2017, Kamila wanted to showcase the diversity and creativity in the city, with the original project featuring photographs of over 40 women and raising over £2,000. Recognising that photography is another way of communicating, particularly for multicultural communities, Kamila wanted to move to connecting women from a range of backgrounds, providing them with an opportunity to work in collaboration or to form new friendships. Through the network, Kamila aims to foster an inclusive, creative and supportive space and the workshops have been designed to support people in challenging circumstances, while promoting creative and business sharing skills, ensuring a number of tickets go to people from different backgrounds that may not normally be able to participate. She has put on free charity events for local, underprivileged communities, helped organisations stage events celebrating local heritage and International Women’s Day, and supported more women to participate in sports from football to bodybuilding and wrestling.
Since establishing the network, she has fundraised for a variety of causes, including supporting the elderly during the pandemic, and has co-led a number of projects to support Ukrainian refugees, including creating social spaces with local cafes. From September, the network will be running a Pilot program, using funds raised to run affordable English lessons for the Polish community, which they hope to expand to other ethnic groups.
“’I feel very honoured and a little overwhelmed to receive this very unexpected award and recognition. I came to the UK from Poland in 2005, when Britain kindly opened its borders for Eastern Europeans like me, and I settled well here and made it my home. My heart is in both Poland and Wales which means I genuinely care very much about my community in Newport. This caring is what gives me the drive and inspiration to do more. The ‘Women of Newport’ community group, which I created in 2019, is a growing group supporting and encouraging all women, striving to bring positive influences to everyday life by effective communication, collaboration and laughter.
“I would like to dedicate this unique award to my wonderful team of women: Dawn, Gosia and Aga, ‘’because only by working together can we achieve more.”
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