Refugee Week has been taking place this week in Bradford with a number of special events, including the launch of the What is Home? Art Exhibition at the Fabric Gallery in the city centre.
Organised by Sanctuary in Schools worker Mary Blacka, in partnership with Bradford Action for Refugees and the Zephaniah Trust, the exhibition features artwork by professional artists, refugees & asylum seekers, children & schools, exploring our shared humanity through the concept of ‘home’. Exhibits include paintings, textile work, pencil drawings, poems, 3D pieces, and a large patchwork canvas featuring images of home made by Bradford school children and Syrian children, stitched together side by side.
The launch event included speakers from Bradford Council, live music by students from Carlton Bolling College, and two young refugees telling their own stories. The event culminated in the presentation of the first School of Sanctuary award in Bradford, to Horton Grange Primary School. There are six other schools in the city currently working towards the award, which recognises a commitment towards being a safe and welcoming place for those seeking sanctuary.
The art exhibition is open for the rest of the week, with a number of special events due to take place among the exhibits, as follows:
Wednesday 18 June Open 11.00-21.30 19.00 - For Jimmy, a brief powerful drama, followed by music from singer/songwriter John Froud
Thursday 19 June Open 11.00-21.30 19.00 – TenX9, storytelling night where up to 9 people have up to 10 minutes to tell a true story from their lives on the theme of ‘home’
Friday 20 June Open 11.00-17.00 13.30 – Performance of Refugee Voices by Miriam Sarin-Buckeridge & Jon Buckeridge from Saltmine Theatre Company
Saturday 21 June Open 11.00-17.00 13.30-15.00 – Drop-in Family Craft Workshops with the Zephaniah Trust’s Julie Wilkinson & Heidi Smith, Community Missioner for Wakefield Cathedral
The Zephaniah Trust is a Christian arts charity, specialising in schoolswork. They are partners in the Sanctuary in Schools project in Bradford and offer a drama project, Refugee Voices, to schools throughout the area, which tells the stories of three Bradford refugees in their own words. Since 2011, they have run the project in 14 schools & 4 volunteer groups, giving nearly 30 performances.
The What is Home? Exhibition can be found at the Fabric Gallery, Broadway, Bradford, BD1 1HA