We have run a number of events exploring and celebrating the voices of refugees and people who have experienced migration and displacement.
On 13 October 2018, we ran an event at Common Ground Workspace which platformed and celebrated the voices of poets from refugee and immigrant backgrounds. There was poetry from Azfa Awad, Rukiya Khatun, Alan Buckley, Hassan Bamyani and James Attlee and Samantha Twigg Johnson performed her songs. With half our profits from the event going to Asylum Welcome, and a sell-out crowd, we stood by and supported the refugee and migrant community here in Oxford.
In January 2019, we collaborated with the Orchestra of St John’s, Somerville College, and Open House Oxford on a really exciting initiative called Displaced Voices. This is a project which brings together school and university students with professional musicians, community members, refugees and asylum seekers through music and literature, and raises awareness about refugee issues in Oxfordshire through artistic expression.
We presented, as part of the evening’s events, a brief showcase of poetic voices reading their work on the subject of displacement, migration and home. This featured short performances from Nancy Campbell, Mukahang Limbu, Shara Lessley, and Muradi Bakir, sharing their stories of movement in landscapes as far-flung as arctic Greenland and the Syrian civil war, exploring how homes can be left, moved, and made.