Freedom of Movement

Iman Tajik’s public art installation “Freedom of Movement” refers to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a key legal document which defines the term “refugee” and outlines the rights of displaced people, as well as the legal obligations of UN member states to protect them. His project looks at “the right to travel as a human rights concept, encompassing the right of individuals to travel from place to place within the territory of a country, and to leave the country and return to it.”

Tajik’s poster, which will be displayed for 3 months near the V&A on the National Cycle Network in Dundee and by the Riverside Museum in Glasgow, displays a scanned image of the artist’s own refugee travel document. This stands alongside a statement which voices the contradiction between the freedom implied by the imagery of birds in the travel document and the suppression of freedom faced by displaced people.

The project was commissioned for Refugee Festival Scotland by Scottish Refugee Council, and is supported by Sustrans.

Iman also held an Artist Talk and Flag Making workshop at the V&A Dundee on Friday 28th June, which was a great success. His poster displayed in Glasgow has sadly gone missing/been removed, potentially by vandalism, and we are working to find out why, and to find a new location for his work.

UK Premiere: Gesturing Refugees

Farah Saleh performs UK premiere of “Gesturing Refugees” at CCA Glasgow

On Thursday 27th June 2019, as part of #RefugeeFestScot 2019, Farah Saleh performed the UK premiere of “Gesturing Refugees”, an interactive dance piece which defies categorisation, and leaves you thinking about it long after it ends. The show was commissioned by Scottish Refugee Council for the festival.

“It is a very special and transformative work, with love – and dance movement itself – as a true weapon of resistance.”

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Refugee Festival Scotland Artists Symposium

On Thursday June 27th, we held an Artists Symposium at CCA Glasgow.

The programme was led from the perspective of artists with lived experience of seeking refugee protection, and whose work focuses on migration and identity.

The event was hosted by Zimbabwean writer, poet, musician and performer Tawona Sitholé, who warmed up the crowd and led us expertly through the day.

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Under the Jasmine Tree

On Thursday 27th June, Maryhill Integration Network, Media Co-Op, St Fillans Primary School, teachers Monica Cohen and Saffanna Aljbawi and MIN Development Officer Pinar held the launch of a new animated film based on Saffanna’s poem “Under the Jasmine Tree” at St Fillans.

The film, animated by children attending St Fillans Primary School Migration After-School Club, received widespread media coverage, and is a powerful, moving film about escaping from Syria to Glasgow.

Read the poem, or watch the film here:

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Glasgow Disability Alliance Event for #RefugeeFestScot

On Thursday 27th June, Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA) held a taster workshop for asylum seekers or refugees who identify as disabled or have a long-term condition. People were invited to learn more about the disabled people’s movement and try out a variety of creative, fun, accessible activities.

Images by volunteer photographer John Lanigan