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The Higgins Bedford

Launch of new exhibition ‘Voices – Different Pasts, Shared Futures’ to mark Refugee Week 2017

 

The Higgins Bedford is launching a contemporary new exhibition to mark Refugee Week 2017. The launch event will include keynote refugee speakers from Syria and Rwanda, music, film and food. The theme of Refugee Week 2017 is ‘Different Pasts, Shared Futures’. The new exhibition is called Voices and will feature oral histories from refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants from Syria, Iraq, Rwanda and Palestine. The exhibition will also feature a Tapestry of objects which people have shared from their countries of origin.

 

The exhibition has come about through a partnership with Bedford Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support (BRASS). BRASS has been working closely with The Higgins Bedford since 2016 to develop the project following the successful display in 2016 ‘Objects from Distant Lands’.  The museum has also worked closely with the History Department at the University of Hertfordshire who have trained volunteers and staff from the museum and BRASS to hear the stories of people who have settled in Bedford from other countries.

 

The museum is also working with Music in Detention to work with women who are detained at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre to hear their voices.

 

The museum will also be hosting an event for schools and families on Tuesday 20 June from 4pm – 6pm. Kate Milner, children’s author and illustrator of ‘My Name is not Refugee’ will be reading from her book and leading activities.

 

Councillor Sarah-Jayne Holland, Portfolio holder for Culture and Leisure Services, said: “I commend The Higgins Bedford for this wonderful project and all the partners involved in working with the museum. Bedford has a long and proud tradition of providing refuge and sanctuary for people fleeing war and persecution and also for welcoming new communities who have settled here to be with family or seek new economic opportunities. This event will celebrate the evolving and glorious diversity of our town.”

 

Brian Cunningham, Co-ordinator of BRASS said: “It has been a privilege to work with The Higgins Bedford on the ‘Voices’ Project. BRASS staff and volunteers, including our women’s group, have been fully involved in the oral histories and the tapestry. It is so important that this work is taking place to build understanding and compassion for people who have arrived in Bedford in very difficult circumstances. I look forward to the launch event and the event for families and schools.”

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