£750 Bursary for refugee/migrant artist

Khalil Younes, Madonna and Missing Child

THE ART OF MIGRATION CALL OUT to artists for proposals of new work To be showcased at city-centre venues in Sheffield & Wakefield during Refugee Week 2016 Arts on the Run is delighted to be able to offer bursaries and individual career development support to 6 emerging artists who have a refugee or migration background, and who live in West or …

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Breath-taking welcome

Leeds has always been good at welcoming people from far afield, but sometimes the warmth of this welcome can take your breath away. Last week, I was invited to Bankside Primary School to talk about Leeds Asylum Seekers Support Network, and to help the children think through how they can welcome new people arriving in Leeds. The school council was …

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The look of respect

“I didn’t like the dynamics of them being against the wall again and me, with my massive camera, subjecting them to my gaze.” Nana Varveropoulou, the Guardian. Before the big story broke (in Europe) of millions of people displaced from their homes, trudging towards countries where the rule of law, democracy and human rights are mostly upheld; Before the terrible …

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Hundreds Welcome Refugees in Leeds

#refugeeswelcome – the Public Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse, 15th September 2015 On Tuesday night, a couple of hundred citizens of Leeds pitched up to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to find out how they could respond to the Refugee Crisis unfolding in Europe.The event was organised by Leeds City of Sanctuary, with help fromTogether for Peace, Migration Yorkshire and  Leeds …

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Leeds feeling strain of 0.03% increase in population

It’s great to see Leeds talking seriously about how it can support people fleeing violence and forced to leave their homes and countries. The council task force has come up with a “compassionate” plan to offer 200 Syrians a home. (See http://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/news/latest-news/top-stories/leeds-offers-home-to-200-refugees-1-7462798) But is it really enough when there are over 4,000,000 Syrian refugees? And is the task force right when it judges …

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We’re the same

We’re the same you and me.

You leave Homs – I leave home.

We both get caught in a queue.

It’s the M1 that brings me to a halt.

My air-conditioning drowning the DJ.

I’m snarled, and angry, fighting for a lane.

For you it’s the border that brings you to a stop.

Armed guards shouting and pointing you back.

You’re starved, and scared, fighting for a life.


We’re the same you and me.

You flee to save your life.

I live on what I’ve saved.

You’re a migrant escaping the pain.

I’m an ex-pat avoiding the rain.

You take nothing – everything left behind.

I bring essentials – tea, marmite, marmalade.


We’re the same you and me.

But I’m worth more – I have so much.

So I’m building a wall to keep me safe.

Around my house securing my place.

A border to keep you out.

Surrounding my country.

Surrounding my wealth.

We’re the same you and me.

But I’m worth more

so you keep out.


If you are rich and attractive to others, you also have to be strong because if not, they will take away what you have worked for and you will be poor, too.
Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán. Guardian, 5 September 2015

Alternatively, here are 6 things you can do to help refugees if you live in Leeds.

Syrian refugees will find a welcome in Leeds

Leeds City Council has confirmed its commitment to support refugees. Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We have been witnessing the most devastating horror in the news as terrible human tragedy is escalating as a result of the conflict in Syria. Desperate people are battling to keep their families alive as they are displaced from their homes …

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Leeds Refugee Week – 14th – 21st June

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events and activities that celebrates the contribution of refugees to the UK and promotes better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. Anyone can get involved by organising, attending or taking part in activities. In Leeds events are co-ordinated by Leeds Refugee Forum and a full programme of 17 main …

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ROSEVILLE – One road, a thousand stories

Tea, dim sum and a pint of ‘Roscoe’ – Leeds based theatre company A Quiet Word create a walking performance on Roseville Road with local residents.   With support from Leeds Inspired and Arts Council England, theatre company A Quiet Word is working with the residents and businesses of Roseville Road this autumn to tell untold stories of the people …

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