Beyond Skin throughout our existence have been very active for Refugee Week. For this our 18th year we are taking a different approach complementing our work with partners that invites and engages more people from host communities and different social status into the conversation.
This year we are rebranding our activities "Survivors Week"
Our theme "Survivors" complimenting Refugee Week UK theme "Compassion", was born out of coversations with an international group of graduates we are working with from ArtEZ University of the Arts.
Beyond Skin are one of the few organisation enabling and delivering shared projects that involve people seeking asylum or in refugee status and people from host communities who have fears about migration or anti-migration opinions. Building relationships, trust, empathy, and dispelling myths through shared creative space is at the heart of what we do.
Over the years for refugee week we have been involved in many amazing events however the audience/participants have mostly been from the refugee community and those involved in community work. With the appalling "Stop The Boats" rhetoric from some of our decision makers, we have felt and seen a rise in racism and more divisive opinions about people coming to our shores for safety. Our work daily at grassroots with all communities we understand peoples' concerns as they also struggle with life challenges.
Survivor is a word everyone identifies with and when we speak to host communities about those fleeing war, famine and impact of climate change about them being survivors, people have got very vocal.
"I have struggled with cancer"
"I’m struggling to put food on the table and keep my family together"
"I'm a survivor of the Northern Ireland conflict"
"Like the people coming here I am also a survivor"
CLICK! The connection bcomes clear, empathy and compassion follows.
Refugee Week always enables great understanding and good outcomes. This year we are digging a little deeper and reaching out further to those who are never invited to conversations about migration. Alll in an effort to challenge the tide of misinformation and lack or respect and understanding for each other’s survival challenges. For those going through the asylum system we are helping and working with, they also understandably what to insure they are recognised for their skills identity not their transition status as identity.
We all have much to learn and much to do. Together we can achieve more.
Contact us for more information firstname.lastname@example.org