£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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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.

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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In fighting Islamic State and Assad, Britain cannot forget their victims

According to David Cameron, the aim of British involvement in Iraq and Syria would be to stabilise the area. This of course, in the short term, means the defeat of the Islamic State and a resolution to the conflict in Syria. It appears to be vitally important to our government that this particular area returns to some semblance of calm. …

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Creating clarity and understanding in Leeds

Clarity Social Enterprise has recently been set up by refugees, local Leeds residents and with the support of Leeds Refugee Forum. Clarity is a new company with big ideas for improving the world. Clarity is a not for profit organisation – which means all profit are used to benefit refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Solomon Kidane, a volunteer …

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The World Cup in Leeds – Saturday 14 June

That’s right – forget Rio, it’s on Roundhay Road that you’ll find international football, alongside a bouncy castle, face-painting and food. The quality of  football will be exceptional, with many internationally-capped players on the pitch. Saturday 14 June, 11-5pm, Thomas Damby Campus, Leeds City College, Community Sport Centre, Roundhay Road, Leeds, LS7 3BG

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