Archive | refugee RSS feed for this section

RASAG Meeting 27/07/10

26 Jul

Meeting tomorrow – Tuesday 27th July at 3pm at Learn For Life, 241-243 London Road, Sheffield S2 4NF.  All Welcome

– refugees and asylum seekers most welcome.

The agenda will include;

i. What next for the Legends project?

ii.  Views on the Big Lunch,

iii.  The campaign for Lemlem,

iv. What next for RASAG – football team, talent contest, art project, band…?!

The possibilities are endless 🙂

Advertisements

Legends

29 Jun

As the Legends Project approaches the finale of this leg of it’s journey, appearances at Gleadless Valley and Sharrow festivals, it seems that the time to take stock is nigh…

Legends kicked off with a workshop on the 18th July and despite complications including court appearances, fork lift truck driving lessons, hospital appointments and illness, we had a marvelous time with singing, dancing and lots of storytelling!

Activities that we worked on included a storytelling circle where  we took turns in sitting in “the magic chair” and telling a story to the rest of the group – everyone chose their own tale and did this exercise by themselves – something many would not have felt confident to do at the start of the day.

The magic chair was the place to tell stories!

We also asked people to take a piece of flipchart paper to a quiet corner and write or draw something they would like to tell about.  This produced some fabulous results that formed the basis of our exhibition.  As I had hoped in the planning stages of the project, this allowed people to express feelings and ideas that reflected on the refugee and asylum seeker experience, with people sharing elements of the story of how they escaped their country and feelings about the injustice of their struggle for freedom.  There were also funny personal anecdotes and stories which expressed a dilemma, calling on the addressee to answer questions about morality and due cause…

We put the written stories on the wall and discussed them

We took a break to enjoy a meal together and stories continued to bound across the table, with magic amulets and language being particularly strong topics!

The next day some of the participants and our professional storyteller Roisin Murray set up a gazebo at Heeley Festival and entertained adults and children with our stories.

In the evening we went on stage at Assist’s One World Over Concert, where we enjoyed explaining the project, singing a song and telling some stories – the group felt great and really elated after this event!

On Monday 21st June the group entertained audiences at Central and Ecclessall library and we showed an exhibition of stories and photo’s which was of great interest to the attendants.

The exhibition of stories and pictures was well received in the libraries

After a week in the storytelling wilderness RASAG was out in force at the Heeley Institute Variety is the Spice of Life community lunch yesterday.  Nine participants entertained an audience of over 50 people with songs, stories and more stories!  City of Sanctuary’s film maker Andrew was there and we are all very excited to see the results of his filming.  This was our greatest event so far and the participants really came into their own, taking center stage and proving the personal growth that’s been achieved through the Legends project.  The aim of the Legends project was to give people a voice and to help them to interact with the community and it was a source of great pride to see this in action.

Next on the agenda for Legends are appearances at Gleadless Valley Festival on Saturday 3rd June at 11.50 and on Sharrow Festival’s Community Stage on the same day at 1.15.  If the Heeley Institute appearance is anything to go by, we’re going to take the crowd by storm!

Storying Sheffield

12 Jun

I was very pleased to be able to attend the Storying Sheffield showcase yesterday, an innovative project with remarkably similar aims to the Legends project. (http://www.storyingsheffield.com/).  I was impressed and somewhat envious of the scale of the project both in terms of the multimedia exhibition and the crowd, who were packed in by the hundred.  The exhibition was vibrant and varied, with features including a mobile of comments about Sheffield, photo stories, video footage of interviews and arrays of items representing participant’s image of the Steel City, from cutlery to boiled sweets, ale to art.   Regrettably, I was unable to reach the short film exhibition space, as forcing my way through the crowd with a sleeping toddler in her pushchair was inhibited by the announcement of the live presentation, a review of the project’s achievements with plenty of humour and some excellent poetry. 

Although enjoyable and informative, the presentation was somewhat inhibited by numbers, as I could neither see the stage nor hear all of the speeches – some people at the back of the room started to filter out as a result.   The presentation was curtailed by the prospect of the Lord Mayor’s imminent arrival, and this being the third event I was to see him at in 10 days I began to fear stalking accusations and set to promoting the Legend’s performances.

On the whole the promotion went well, although I began to see the flaw in my leaflet, which simply gives the name Sheffield RASAG, without explaining that it is a refugee and asylum seeker community group…  I found myself repeating this fact to people over and over while both relishing the fact that I hadn’t blown the whole printing budget on the flawed design, and regretting that I didn’t have more printed to cover the numbers at Storying Sheffield and have some left for Peace in the Park (http://web.peaceinthepark.org.uk/) and and the launch of the Summer of Sanctuary, Together at Devonshire Green (http://www.eventsheffield.co.uk/event/14525/summer-of-sanctuary-together-in-sheffield).  With a miniscule budget of £20.00 to cover the entire project it is a constant dilemma of whether to spend or save and I left this event feeling that I had underestimated the levl of potential to promote Legend’s this weekend.

Having thouroughly enjoyed Storying Sheffield and been convinced that their aims and ethos is noteably similar to our own, now’s the time for RASAG to see if they can offer us any help with promting our events and extending our lifespan, which is hanging in the balance after the rejection of an important funding bid…  Like Storying Sheffield we intend to be back bigger and better next year, so lets find out if there’s any potential for collaboration and stand united, narrating in the face of adversity!

“Football, a shared sense of belonging?”

11 Jun

RASAG were out in force last night to support FURD at the launch of their 3 year research project into whether football and other cultural devices provide a mutual sense of belonging for refugees and asylum seekers.  The project, led by FURD’s Chris Stone, will provide a platform for refugees and asylum seekers to discuss their thoughts through football.  Chris says “Many football fans see the game as a way of bridging communities, bringing individuals closer together and as a brilliant tool for social change.” (copyright FURD http://www.furd.org/default.asp?intPageID=498)

Yesterday’s event was hosted at City College and despite power cuts and rain was a great success!  Attendees ranged from City of Sanctuary and Northern Refugee Centre representatives, to the Lord and Lady Mayor, to players in FURD’s annual All Nations tournament (20th June, Goodwin building, Sheffield Hallam University) and of course, team RASAG!  A sub-Saharan feast was laid on and a panel of experts including ex-Blade Brian Deane and FURD’s own Desbon talked guests through their own and our (gathered by survey) predictions for South Africa 2010, thus removing the need for any of us to watch the games – Phew!  On the whole the panel and audience were in agreement in our predictions, although the audience didn’t note Serbia as a contender in group D and there was a whisper of controversy when the panel put through the Ivory Coast over Portugal in group G.  The eventual winners were, or should I say will be,  (look away now if you want to wait til the final) – Brazil – no surprises there then!  Fear not though, England put in a sterling performance and make it all the way to the semi-finals (or was it quarters?), but are eventually knocked out, possibly due to the arrival of team WAG and Wayne Rooney’s filthy language….

All in all, the launch party marked the start of what will be a very exciting project and an excellent opportunity for refugees and asylum seekers in Sheffield to get involved in research, share their experiences and get skilled up at the same time.  On our way to the event I was talking up the party element of the evening and, most likely, getting very excited over the prospect of some nice food!  I was brought back to Earth and reminded of the level of committment to self improvement and education the RASAG group have when a member named Fuad turned to me very seriously and said “We must learn something this evening.”  Well, we certainly did and I am sure we are all very excited and very much looking forward to being involved in this project and contributing to it in any way we can.

Performances and picnic

9 Jun

Legends storytelling group will be performing at

Heeley Festival Sat, 19/06/2010 all day in a gazebo

One World Over Sat, 19/06/2010 – 19:00 – 22:00. In Aid of ASSIST, at the Montgomery Hall, Surrey St (by the big wheel)

Central Library Surrey Street, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S1 1XZ, 12.30 – 1.30 Mon 28/06/2010

Ecclesall Library 120 Ecclesall Road South, Sheffield, South Yorkshire S11 9PL, 5.30 – 6.30 Mon 28/06/2010

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113963548647447&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=105594016150685&ref=ts

The RASAG/Big Lunch picnic will now be held at Sharrow Summer Flea Market, Old Junior School, South View Road Sheffield S7 1DB on 12 – 5 pm, 18/07/2010

http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=113963548647447&ref=ts