Image: (c) David Foldvari & Save the Children – Boat, from Journeys Drawn: Illustration from the Refugee Crisis, a touring exhibition from House of Illustration
Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. The theme for 2020 is ‘Imagine’ and this year Sunderland Culture is supporting the work of FODI (Friends of the Drop In) and partner organisations across the city to share an online programme of activity.
The week begins today with a ‘Walk of Sanctuary’ when we remember how people travel to get here. This year City of Sanctuary Chair Chris Howson will walk at 2 metres apart with different members of the refugee and voluntary community accompanying him on sections of the walk around Sunderland’s landmarks with a send off on zoom at 9am by the Bishop of Durham.
If you are feeling creative, why not get involved with FODI’s virtual community Coronaquilt? Inspired by Art Refuge’s national Coronaquilt project which aims to bring people together. To get involved, send your pictures of what you have been doing during lockdown to [email protected].To see Sunderland’s Coronaquilt online visit: http://fodisunderland.org
Following a pre-lockdown collaborative ARTS project between Sangini and FODI women’s group, led by artists Padma Rao and Miki Zea, both groups have been working together on felting and drawing inspired by the joys of lockdown creativity. This teaching has been funded by COVID 19 response funding from Cultural Spring with FODI materials funded by WCDT Wearside Community Development Trust and National Emergency Trust at the Community Foundation Tyne and Wear. The results have been a joy of daily sharing on social media groups and many images are included in the Coronaquilt. Join Padma on an abstract drawing project here https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BQAAJzlGdyo
For more information on these activities and more projects organised by FODI: http://fodisunderland.org/
As well as supporting FODI’s virtual art projects, we’ve also brought together a selection of project work below that has taken place over the past 18 months – including films and learning resources – to raise awareness of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers in our communities.