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3 Aug 2018

Reflections on Refugee Week

In June Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery hosted an event for Refugee Week’s 20th Birthday celebrations, in partnership with Celebrating Sanctuary and Near Neighbours. The event featured musicians and performances by artists from diverse backgrounds, including music from Zimbabwe and Angola.

Refugee Week

Photo credit: Near Neighbours 

The event was really well received and we were delighted to have been able to support it, especially when we recently received some wonderful feedback from an attendee. 

Helena very kindly got in touch with the following email and poem: 

“I was thinking about the Refugee event at BMAG and wrote the attached poem. Just sending it to you because it shows that those people who experience such brilliant events walk away changed in some way.” 

Green and Pleasant Land – Reflections from BMAG & Celebrating Sanctuary

Listening in the Round Room
To tales of displacement
From Bosnia, South Africa, Nigeria
With a backdrop of fine art
From this green and pleasant land.

Celebrating sanctuary with words.
Painting pictures of hunger, love,
Journeys, yearning and desperation.
The choice of food or electric light,
The pain of separated kin.

We are a hybrid people
Rooted in community and otherness.
We are tattooed inside and out
With heritage and possibility.
Welcome home Refugees.

By Helena Moss

We are so grateful to Helena for sharing her thoughts. Bringing people together to celebrate inclusivity is one of the core aims of Birmingham Museums and events like these are fundamental to this work. We hope to take part again next year.