Connecting Shores is a recently launched audio documentary series that will explore the relationship young people of colour have with the sea and coastal environments.

Commissioned and funded by Natural England, the series has been created by Exeter-born sound artist Somatic and will be broadcast on BBC Radio Devon and Cornwall next month. This will be followed by a public release on streaming platforms in late April.

The eight-episode project explores, documents and amplifies young (18-30) People of Colour’s (POC) relationships to the sea and coastal environments, providing a platform for a set of voices often overlooked in marine spaces.

Lack of diversity in the environmental sector

The audio documentary covers a range of themes, including shaping of identity, early coastal memories, cultural, heritage and water stories, using the coast as a space of health and well-being, the perceived future of coastal spaces, barriers to access, migration and how seashores ‘here’ connect us to the rest of the world. The series features interviews with eight young people of colour in Plymouth and focusses on a different topic per episode.

Project lead for Natural England, Mel Smith said: “There is a well-documented lack of diversity and representation of people of colour within the marine and wider environmental sector.  It is vital that we find new and creative ways to listen to and collaborate with a wider range of voices to tackle barriers of access to nature, address inequalities, and to build partnerships to protect and restore the natural world upon which we all depend … The audio series will now also be made available as an engagement tool for environmental professionals seeking to improve diversity in this sector.” 

Somatic, (real name Somin Griffin-Dave) added: “It’s been a privilege to be asked to create an innovative series such as this that through the lens of eight participants highlights some commonalities and differences in the way that we all interact with coastal and marine spaces.”


Somatic, the series creator

Preview event

A free preview event will be held in Plymouth the 27th of March where Somatic will host a listing and discussion event. The event invites participants, local marine stakeholders and people from Plymouth’s community to listen, discuss and reflect together upon the stories shared in the episodes. Book your ticket here.

You can read the full press release here.

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