Arts Together Celebrates Refugee Week

A new photography project has been launched by Arts Together, with the aim of reflecting the hopes and lives of asylum seekers and refugees.  

World Refugee Day is marked in the UK as a nationwide programme of arts, cultural and educational events to enable a better understanding amongst different communities. In 2020, it runs from 15-21 June with ‘Imagine’ as its theme. 

Refugees who are members of Mafwa Theatre (a partner of Arts Together) will be asked how they imagined their lives in Leeds would be. Photographer Lizzie Coombes will the take portraits of each person, which connects them to their stories.

Alice Gilmour, Community Partnerships Officer at Opera North, who administrates Arts Together, said:

 “We are really excited to support something that hopefully people will enjoy being a part of, that we can manage remotely (obviously a necessity this year), and that will result in a beautiful, final product with longevity and reach.”

Lizzie Coombes, whose work includes community, social documentary, theatre and portraiture, said:

“During these unprecedented times, human connections feel precious and important to me. I’m looking forward to meeting, listening and talking to the participants, and collaborating with them to create photographic portraits they feel represent them and their sense of place within our communities.”

Keziah, Co-Artistic Director of Mafwa Theatre, commented:

“This project is a brilliant opportunity to highlight the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers living in Leeds. We fully expect the resulting words and images to enlighten and challenge, while also forming a great collection to share with others.”

The photographs will appear on the Arts Together website when the project is concluded, so that everyone can share the results.

Photograph by Tom Arber.

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