The story of refugees is one that speaks of people seeking sanctuary from places where their ability to live in safety had come under threat. This is a vital issue given the situation in Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria.
Migrants themselves are often stripped of their humanity in favour of a narrative that services broad political or economic aims. The cultural and societal contributions of refugees and asylum seekers is often neglected. There is therefore a clear educational need to engage young people and communities with the topics of migration, seeking asylum and the realities of being a refugee through a direct engagement with people who have lived experience of these issues.
The Refugee Voices project is aimed at delivering a creative, educational experience for young people and the general public, inspiring a better understanding of refugees and celebrating the culture and skills of migrants to the UK. We have a unique collaboration – local schoolchildren and 5 creatives with lived experience of migration who have made Bristol their home. The artists – an Iranian chef, Egyptian and Kurdish musicians, and 2 visual artists, Sudanese and Kurdish – have shared their skills and stories with local children and answered their questions about migration and their countries of origin. These are captured as short films by film students at the University of Bristol.
We are seeking funding to create an installation from these short films which will be open to the public during the Bristol Refugee Festival at the end of June, as well as create an education pack for schools.
This project relates to SDGs 10: Reducing Inequalities, Goal 1: No poverty, Goal 16: Peace and Justice.
- To engage the public and school children with the stories, cultures and contributions of refugees and asylum seekers through direct cultural exchange (workshops), video and audio content, and a physical exhibition/ immersive experience.
- To inspire a more holistic engagement with the complexities of migration in the 21st century and how issues of inequality, climate change and war factor have a role to play in this. To place the human story at the centre of this narrative.
- To mark and celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention.
This project is supported by Thresholds, Rank Foundation, Bristol Beacon and John James Bristol Foundation.