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Refugee Related Arts:

A consultation into the evidence of need and feasibility of a national conference and website for refugee-related arts in the UK

By Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic Commissioned by Arts Council England

2009

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

Contents

  • 1. Background Information

3

  • 2. Research Methodology

6

  • 3. Findings: Overview and Consensus

7

  • 4. Summary of Regional and Online Consultation

9

  • 5. Recommendations

13

  • 6. Legacy

15

  • 7. Proposed Project Models

16

  • 8. Managing Organisation’s Roles & Responsibility

17

Appendices

  • 1. Consultation meeting in London, 22 nd May 2009

22

  • 2. Consultation meeting in Newcastle, 20 th July 2009

29

  • 3. Consultation meeting in Leeds, 24 th July 2009

36

  • 4. Consultation meeting in Glasgow, 28 th July 2009

42

  • 5. Online Survey, Respondents

46

  • 6. Online Survey, National Website

48

  • 7. Online Survey, National Conference Content

53

  • 8. Online Participants – about themselves

66

  • 9. Refugee Related Arts Consultation Plan

74

  • 10. All participants’ data

76

  • 11. Charts and diagrams

82

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

1.

Background

Refugee Arts Infrastructure Research

Rationale

Our research project relates directly to the 2008 Hybrid report The Arts and Refugees, History, Impact and Future commissioned by the Baring Foundation, Arts Council England, London and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The report and associated research set out ‘to trace the history of the arts and refugees in the UK over the past 20 years, to identify trends in practice and funding, to report on the outcomes of this activity and to make recommendations for its future support.

The report authors Belinda Kidd, Samina Zahir and Sabra Khan made a number of recommendations. This research relates to the following recommendations in particular:

  • 4.1.2 A suitable organisation should be commissioned to develop internet-based

support that includes current databases of high quality, participation-led projects, relevant contacts (artists and project managers), toolkits and other forms of support for those newly engaged in this field and for refugee sector organisations looking for potential partnerships and ways of utilising the arts.

  • 4.2.1 The Arts Councils should work with partners to support specialist agencies

that provide peer support for artists who are refugees, whilst encouraging these agencies to maintain their strategic focus by signposting their members towards regional and national professional support agencies such as the Independent Theatre Council, [a- n] and others.

  • 4.2.2 Suitable agencies should be encouraged to establish a mentoring programme

between professional refugee artists and host artists, based on art form and/or field of

interest and that engages key organisations/agencies in supporting the relationship.

  • 4.2.4 In addressing these recommendations, all partners should recognise the need

to broaden their networks to achieve an effective engagement with the many refugee arts and cultural groups that operate on an informal basis and are not necessarily reached through existing refugee agency structures or arts networks.

  • 4.3.4 The Arts Councils should work with the Refugee Council and Refugee Action to

support a central networking function to develop mutual support and good practice in the arts and refugees sector. This should not supplant regional networks but

act as an overall network of networks. Activities might include a biennial conference, regular national networking meetings between key people in the field, such as UK Arts Council officers with responsibility for refugee issues, Refugee Council arts development officers and refugee artist support agencies.

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

As a small team of researchers, we devised and implemented a strategy ensuring the voices of stake-holders are heard in the next phase of strategic development in policy and practice related to arts and refugees. It is the intention that the research findings below will influence any national initiatives that set out to meet the aims of the Hybrid report in particular 4.3.4, so that plans directly reflect the views of those who are most likely to benefit.

We were also particularly interested in exploring how stake-holders could be directly involved in planning future strategies thereby enabling some of the most marginalized artists and communities to be influential in the future development of the arts’ infrastructure.

Aims:

To discover and represent the views of stakeholders in the future planning of infrastructural support related to arts and refugees such as national events, professional development and communication and information tools

To organise and conduct a number of consultation seminars in different areas of the UK to gain views and ideas from stake-holders

To focus discussions in

particular on

aim

4.3.4 and

test out and collect

suggestions for the proposal to hold national conferences

To present findings to potential funders and project directors/organisers with the intention that future plans will reflect the view of stake-holders

Research Team

Stella Barnes - Head of Arts in Education at Oval House Theatre; founder of Flight Paths - arts in education training programme for exiled artists; former Chair of Refugees and the Arts Initiative. Stella is an experienced arts practitioner, researcher and evaluator with ten years experience running arts projects with young refugees and professional development programmes for artists and education practitioners.

Emily Hunka - Associate Director GLYPT and Chair of Rewrite (both organisations specialising in arts development with young refugees). Emily is a writer, director, arts practitioner and leader of the renown ‘Voices’ project- and a specialist in working with young refugees in discreet and inclusive settings.

Almir Koldzic - UK Coordinator for Refugee Week. His experiences include managing various arts and refugees initiatives; developing a national strategy and new identity for Refugee Week; co-curating various exhibitions and events, and most recently initiating “Simple Acts” - a UK-wide campaign on refugees. Almir has also written short stories and translated a number of books and publications.

Process

We have developed a series of consultation tools (see below) to be used with a range of

stake-holders from a number of regions.

We have also developed participatory

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

consultation techniques and approaches to make the consultation accessible to a range of people from different professional backgrounds.

We have particularly targeted our face to face consultation with organisations and individuals in the key regional locations of Newcastle, Greater London, Leeds and Glasgow. In each, we set up seminars and one-to-one meetings to collect opinion and suggestions from stake-holders. For those who were unable to participate in the face to face consultation we created an online questionnaire, which was live for three months from June to August 2009 (see Appendices 5, 6, 7 and 8).

Schedule

March – April 2009

Development of research tools, strategy and seminar locations/invitations

Creation of online questionnaire

April – July 2009

Research seminars interviews and workshops Online questionnaire goes live

July/August 2009

Preparation of research findings and presentation to funders/agencies etc.

Stake-holders included:

Exiled artists from a range of cultural origins and representing a range of art

forms Arts organisations and practitioners with experience of arts practice related to

refugees including those who work in youth and education related setting as well as those who work in professional arts contexts Arts practitioners with an interest in this area of work but with little experience;

Students in universities with an interest in this area of work

Young refugees and asylum seekers and those from more established

communities who attend arts projects Teachers, FE and HE lecturers with an interest in this area of work

Refugee Community Organisations that have engaged in arts projects or who

have this ambition Local authority officers

Regional Arts Council officers

Refugee Sector Organisations

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2.

Research Methodology

Participatory consultation at five events in four cities involving 65 people. Participants responded to an open invitation to attend, which was publicised through a range of local networks including:

  • - Refugee Community Organisations

  • - Arts Council

  • - Refugee Council

  • - Local Authority

  • - Universities & Colleges

  • - Artists networks

  • - Regional cultural networks

  • - Refugee Week

  • - Arts organisations

The consultation sessions utilised a range of participatory techniques including:

  • - Small group activity using grading chart for conference content

  • - Individual visioning exercise to gather ideas for conference form and to ensure contribution from each individual.

  • - Creating space for anonymous recommendations and comments in written form

This approach enabled each participant to have a voice, prevented sessions from being dominated by a few vocal participants, and allowed for diverse views and ideas to be shared without fear of criticism.

An online questionnaire exploring website and conference/event possibilities, including an invitation to make additional comments. 75 people responded online only. The remaining 65 responses were from people who also attended seminars (See Appendix 5-8)

Interviews with individuals with the experience of strategic development and management of various arts projects

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3.

Findings: Overview & Consensus

Website

  • 3.1 National/Local interface. There was concern that a website only focused nationally would be of limited value - “geography is always an issue – e.g. resources available in London…are of little practical use in the North East”. Instead, there was interest in a website with both national and local focus; Local and regional pages would feature issues of concern and interest, which could include promoting local artists and local network meetings, highlighting local events, lists of local resources, funding opportunities and so on. These might link to a national hub which would profile content of national significance and would feature good practice regionally that may be of broader interest. “Don't reinvent the wheel! Look at what's being done on a regional basis and how these can be linked /supported/developed to come together as a national portal. Information must be kept up to date on an ongoing /long term basis - a database of out of date contacts is useless!”

  • 3.2 Content and Priorities: It was considered that forums, chat-rooms and blogs were “of limited value as they take away from the real interaction” and that “…many of us are suffering from blog/forum/social network overload”. Instead, there was a call for the website to feature listings of resources, case studies of projects, toolkits and good practice guidelines (70.3% online respondents graded this aspect as important). Whereas debate was considered to be an important part of any conference/event, it was not considered that the website was an appropriate place for ongoing discussion; “ Websites are useful for telling people what is happening, who is where and who is doing it” was instead the greater focus.

  • 3.3 Management: Concern was expressed over the potential management of the website. Respondents thought that there should be clarity over who would manage the site, updating it regularly and supporting its ongoing function. Comments indicated that “[websites] often start with great intentions but fizzle out over time because [organisations] do not have the time and capacity to manage them”.

Conference

  • 3.4 Form: From many respondents, there was a lack of support for a conventional conference, which might fall into traps of being “bureaucratic” with “dry, meaningless speeches and power-point presentations.” There was a strong desire for an arts-led event that both is exciting and risk taking. Participants did not want to be ‘talked at’ by “politicians, public figures, policy makers”. However, there was interest in a high level of debate: “raising debate to a new and higher level by [asking] questions that raise our consciousness,” and “the sense that the conference is prepared to challenge the status quo” or “different perspectives that

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are not afraid of genuine debate”. Many felt that debate and discussion through art would be most effective and powerful: “Art shouldn’t be like wallpaper; if it’s done it should be a way to challenge and make an impact.” It was also considered important to have a good mix of practice and theory, with significant time for discussion and networking. “I could meet with other refugees who have similar problems…we could share experiences and create a partnership.”

  • 3.5 Venue: Many respondents thought that “The building is important. The space needs to reflect the flavour of the day” and therefore would be imperative for any event to take place in an arts space, a “great environment with artistic impact” as opposed to a conference centre or more formal venue. Participants spoke of choice of venue marring previous conferences, disliking events in a “big hall, cold room”. Utilising arts venues was seen by respondents as an opportunity for involvement of artists curating the space, exhibiting work, performing and presenting.

  • 3.6 Ownership: There was strong support for leadership by artists, especially exiled artists. A ‘top down’ approach, where a large organisation takes the lead, without full support of artists, was not popular. There was particular concern that refugee artists or young people would be alienated by such an approach, or overshadowed by ‘expert’ voices”. Respondents talked with concern of a conference that might include “no diversity or inter-culturality” in its leadership, that one of the root problems…is lack of opportunities for refugee voices to be heard.” Consequently, it was suggested that they should have a stake in the organisation of a conference, to ensure “strong refugee voices.” The event may be curated by artists, and involve active participation, rather than passive ‘receiving’. This may include creating artwork or taking part in workshops. It was also suggested that the event could act as “support [for] people who are working in isolation”. When asked who the conference should be for, there was strong feeling that it should be geared at individual artists from refugee backgrounds and arts organisations, rather than being a media or training event.

  • 3.7 Setting: When considering the interplay between the local and national, it was clear that there is no particular parity between regions. There are very few networks that have been sustained either within regional areas themselves, or nationally, and there is a danger of any conference/event becoming ‘London Centric’, due to inexperience of strategic/artistic events regionally – “A national level [event] means only higher level of organisations are heard.” Respondents did not want “events and conferences that are always based in London”. Instead there was a call for “all regions [to be] represented in meaningful ways”

  • 3.8 Outcome: Any conference/event should have a balance between improving practice, sharing methodology, projects, successes and challenges of stakeholders/delegates and having an impact on policy and local or national strategy. Responses included a desire for “actual practice shared”, “major arts institutions making a commitment to support refugees and asylum seekers to build audiences”, “listening to voices that are rarely heard.”

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4. Overview of Regional & Online Consultation

London

  • 4.1 11 participants attended the 2 London consultations. Amongst these, there was good representation from refugee artists.

4.2

There

was

a

general impression that participants had

past experience in

conferences/events focusing on refugee related arts, with a high level of debate

already taking place. Many participants felt a bit ‘jaded’

by

a

number of

initiatives over the past few years that have not been ‘owned’ by artists (particularly refugee artists) or which have not resulted in any policy/strategic

change: “a national conference might not be the answer. that is not just putting on a show of importance.”

We want something

  • 4.3 There was a strong demand for an alternative or ‘reinvention’ of conference or event, with an emphasis on event. A conference was an unpopular concept, with a general consensus that it had “all been done before”; some had bad experience of previous conferences – “Long talks with no end”, “Talks in a jargon that no-one catches”, Feeling all the money has gone on glossy brochures and reports that no-one will read or do anything about”, too stuffy and formal” Instead, their was a preference for “using visual art, drama music and the spoken word” and categorically to “Make it about ART”. As one respondent put it “Creativity is about taking risks

...

something that takes people out of their comfort zone”.

  • 4.4 Participants felt that it was important for the project to have a tangible legacy, with sustainability for the sector and life beyond the project. There was a concern that the project would repeat mistakes made by previous events, where after a ‘showcase’ event, networking, funding, and local and national policy did not effect change.

  • 4.5 There was a particular preoccupation with sustainable funding, arising out of experiences of the lack thereof. It was felt a conference/event should be addressing this agenda as this was considered a significant priority for the future of this work.

Newcastle

  • 4.6 27 participants attended the Newcastle consultation, from a range of backgrounds, including refugee artists, local authority stakeholders, academics and representatives from Arts Council England and larger arts organisation.

  • 4.7 Newcastle described pockets of good practice over a diverse range of settings, with a sector that is relatively new and not well networked.

  • 4.8 There was keen interest in the consultation to make these local networks stronger, as well as an investment in infrastructural support. It was felt that “progression for North East Relationships” was important, with “inspirational techniques and skills to be shared across [local] communities”.

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4.9

There was limited experience of conferences or events in the refugee-related arts sector or diversity and inclusion as a whole. Instead of wanting a larger-scale national event, there was a consensus that a local event/festival would be more desirable.

  • 4.10 It was considered that refugee artists did not have a strong ‘voice’ or stake-hold in work and were not empowered. Any initiative should seek to empower them.

Leeds

  • 4.11 The Leeds event was attended by 19 people from varying backgrounds, including refugee artists, arts and refugee sector organisations.

  • 4.12 A focus on ‘voice’ was particularly marked in Leeds. There was a feeling that events or conferences were in danger of not recognising and including voices of refugees and asylum seekers. Respondents wanted to be “involved and heard” rather than listen to “someone talking about theory instead of experience – government policy makers, NHS managers…” It was felt that a national conference, or indeed any national infrastructure for refugee related arts, would need to include and “actively seek out practitioners from all levels (funded and unfunded)”. There was unanimous agreement that there should be a regional network, which would have specific aim of supporting and further developing refugee related arts first and foremost in their area.

  • 4.13 It was considered that artistic “moments” would be crucial in any event. Many respondents talked of moments of performance – dance, drumming artwork, theatre – that touched and inspired people: “Zimbabwean dancers who mesmerized the Sheffield audience

MAGIC”, “I remember a Kurdish asylum

seeker saying after an occasion when all the Kurds in the room began to dance “I

have not been as happy as this moment since I came to the UK””

  • 4.14 The idea of a website was viewed positively, provided it was properly managed and its potential for showcasing refugee art and performance was properly exploited

  • 4.15 There was strong preference for a regional (rather than national) structure; practical grassroots assistance for local groups was felt to be helpful. Much thought was given to how these structures might operate, focusing in particular on liaising with individual groups and artists, speaking directly to local authorities, Arts Council, Regional Development Agencies, businesses, schools, colleges and so on. It was thought that small events going on throughout the year would benefit the sector much more.

  • 4.16 Some participants considered it important that there was an underlying political- artistic agenda that needs to be addressed in any event or conference: “The arts are one of the most successful channels by which people from minority cultures and ethnic backgrounds can contribute to the life of a multicultural society…no project to develop refugee art in the community is likely to succeed without political backing at local regional and national levels.”

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Glasgow

  • 4.17 8 participants attended the Glasgow meeting, mainly from arts organisations.

  • 4.18 With regard to the conference content discussion, there was a strong feeling from one group in particular that all topics that could potentially be explored were familiar, which may reflect Glasgow’s familiarity with similar events and initiatives, compared to Leeds or Newcastle.

  • 4.19 Like London, Glasgow largely rejected the idea of a traditional conference, instead desiring something more radical on one hand (encouraging debate, challenging ideas) and more practically artistic on the other (an opportunity for exploration of art and art on display, “feeling the impact of art”. A ‘traditional’ conference with “too many people in a large auditorium” “speakers talking about complex/theoretical issues that were hard to understand” was not popular.

  • 4.20 The participants agreed that instead of developing a series of national events, the project should first aim to support the development of regional networks (e.g. Scottish ICAR - which could be used as a model by other regions). Once established, the regional networks would work on organising meetings, seminars, events etc as well as inter-regional exchange days, while at the same time working on developing a “piece” (e.g. exhibition, seminar etc) for the national conference (that would take place in year 3 of the project). The national conference should have a clear focus and end with an action plan. It should feature inspiring speakers and presentations, and could be organised in partnership with a university in order to strengthen the theoretical elements of the conference and secure cheap accommodation for travelling participants.

  • 4.21 The participants thought that a national website featuring all the proposed elements could be costly and difficult to manage. They suggested that instead it could serve as a portal for the regional pages, highlighting the most interesting and relevant projects and activities; and that it should be well designed and simple to use.

Online Consultation

  • 4.22 An overwhelming number of respondents felt that the most useful function of a conference would be for networking and forming artistic partnerships. In the online survey, 44% of respondents requested good networking opportunities: “It would be very useful to look at ways of creating future partnerships” a conference should “help me make contact with RAM artists living and working in my area” “an opportunity to network and share information” “context and contacts with leading artists who happen to be refugees now in the UK” for example.

  • 4.23 Empowerment of refugees was a

strong theme online,

both

in

terms of

empowerment for refugee artists and more general support

for refugees,

practically – funding for example – and enabling refugee voices: “I would like to hear more from refugees themselves – what they feel needs to be done and how best to attract refugee participants…to arts events.” “It is important to hear from

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artists who are refugees about what they think and want”. For one respondent, the conference could be so crucial a tool in this respect “[I would hope to gain] a lot since I am an artist who has to work in a factory”.

  • 4.24 Online respondents were similar to regional consultation in their desire for a non- formal non-traditional conference.

A conference

should be

“a

forum for

showcases and fun!” “I envisage such a conference to include exhibitions/performances and a participatory arts element, partly to enliven the day, and importantly because I think experience is the most valuable learning tool”

  • 4.25 Keen interest in ethics and representation emerged from the online questionnaires. The importance of definition (of ‘refugee’, ‘migrant’ and so on) and allowing conversation around identity and ownership to be explored was highlighted.

  • 4.26 Respondents wanted the website to be a communication and networking tool, with opportunities for showcasing work, with “interactive mapping” of regional and national activity. It was thought that “the website should enable two-way communication/networking, rather than one way from a central body. “[it should be] a resource for good practice development.”

  • 4.27 There was considerable concern about how a website would be maintained and managed: “A national website would be great but to have value it would need a full time person to update it.” How regularly and over what time period…will it be maintained and updated? In our experience these things often start with great intentions but fizzle out over time…” were just two of the responses in this vein

  • 4.28 Several people commented on the need for a website to be accessible to refugees. Some thought the site “should be built and maintained as far as possible by asylum seekers and refugees”, while another cautioned “Great idea and heartening that resources are being used in this way. You’ll need to keep your ears open though because so many refugee arts projects exist without funding or mainstream support or publicity.”

  • 4.29 Reflecting response from regional consultation, online respondents wanted the website with “links to regional websites” and “regional or local pages”.

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5. Recommendations

Website

  • 5.1 Structure: There should be a centrally managed national website with links to local and regional pages, and content uploaded centrally and regionally. This would give scope for stakeholders to network locally and feed into a larger network on a national level, and encourage local groups to take control and make commitment to the national strategy.

  • 5.2 Management: There would need to be a clearly defined relationship between central and local management of the site, and a focus on liaison between national and regional bodies.

  • 5.3 Commitment: Regional groups would need to make a commitment to set up and maintain their regional pages / sites and to contribute to the national pages / site.

  • 5.4 Content: Priority should be given to listings of resources, sharing of practice and local listings. Debate and sharing of practice etc. can happen as an ongoing process on-line. Content would be focused on providing information, links, resources and sharing from local angles, but with national pages for everyone.

Conference/Event(s)

  • 5.5 As a response to strongly communicated and widely held opinion against a series of national events, this project will need to create the interface between the local, regional and national. The project must respond to a range of need, experience and readiness to contribute. This is in response to feedback that the conference[should be] in several locations simultaneously to aim for grassroots participation”, there “needs to be a sense of working towards and contributing to a national strategy development”

  • 5.6 A national project could be used as an opportunity to strengthen regional networks. This may include organising meetings, seminars, and events on a regional level. A network could also look at the possibilities of linking up with and improving the work of regional Refugee Week groups, bringing in new partners, widening interest in this area of work and so on. Such an approach would allow for a ‘stepped’ format, where local, regional and national activity builds through the life of the project.

  • 5.7 Refugee artists and practitioners should have a significant stake-hold in the project. Steps should be taken to ensure involvement through steering groups, involvement in the management structure and the opportunity to showcase and share work. Appropriate funding for fees, travel expenses and childcare need to be considered in light of this.

  • 5.8 The project should be considered in stages, building towards a national event in the third year. This will allow for an accumulation of knowledge and experience, putting local groups in a position to share material and ideas of depth and

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significance. This would answer a desire for a “Series of smaller events” and a layering” effect, building gradually over the length of the project.

  • 5.9 Regional participation in the project would involve:

    • a) The initiation of a regional network

    • b) The involvement of different tiers of for example large arts’ institutions

strategic bodies (Arts Council England, Local Authorities etc.), smaller arts

organisations, exiled artists and arts practitioners

  • c) Organising a series of artists exchange days locally, regionally and cross-

regionally d) Commitment to contributing to the national event in the third year of the project

  • e) Commitment to contributing content to the national pages of the website

  • 5.10 Networks could link cross-regionally to encourage shared learning. (for example Manchester may link with Leeds, London may link with Norwich, Newcastle may link with Glasgow). Each region could be linked with an academic institution, with a focus on research and development in the field of applied/community arts. This link could provide invaluable in-kind resources such as personnel (students and academics) research support and venue/hosting support. It would attract academic interest and strengthen the theoretical elements of the project.

  • 5.11 The final stage of the project should be a national event /conference, which would take place in the third yea. It would be developed and coordinated by a central body but with the input of regional networks. It could be organized in partnership with a university, would have a clear focus / theme and would aim to a) provide space for sharing of experiences and ideas b) showcase/ raise the profile of relevant works and organisations c) encourage and raise genuine and challenging debates. It is recommended that the following themes are prioritised:

Interculturality and intercultural work (the highest scoring theme on online

feedback by a long margin) Participatory and youth arts

Showcasing/exhibitions/performances and post show debates

Using arts as an awareness raising tool

Arts as a tool for integration

Ethics and representation

Seeing work created in other national contexts

Advocacy in the arts; training and professional development for artists and

practitioners Simulating the refugee process through arts’ processes

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6. Legacy

  • 6.1 The legacy of the project should be planned from the offset and should be considered a significant priority.

This reflects input from respondents that while

a website and event are valuable, they are ‘empty gestures’ if the work is not enabled to continue or thrive. Therefore, the project should build a legacy strategy into its core, from its inception, which may include:

Encouraging the interest of funders in future developments

Encouraging involvement of training bodies

Building relationships with policy makers and strategic bodies

Producing documentation, both academic and practical

Considering how the national event in Year 3 will focus on the future for refugee-related arts

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7.

Proposed Project Models

YEAR ONE

LOCAL

7. Proposed Project Models YEAR ONE LOCAL Local Exchange networks are set up in various regions

Local Exchange networks are set up in various regions with

 

Local

 

Local networks build towards a

different tiers of

networks

local arts

involvement, e.g. arts

begin making

exchange

organisations, larger

Cross

event at the

arts institutions,

Regional

end of Year 1

individual artists, arts council officers, local authority officers.

links.

(defined by the needs of the region).

National Coordinator begins working on strategy.
National
Coordinator
begins
working on
strategy.
National Coordinator begins building strategic and policy links and relationships.
National
Coordinator
begins building
strategic and
policy links and
relationships.
National coordinator visits events.
National
coordinator visits
events.
7. Proposed Project Models YEAR ONE LOCAL Local Exchange networks are set up in various regions

Event is profiled on the local pages of website.

     

Event is profiled on the national pages of website.

7. Proposed Project Models YEAR ONE LOCAL Local Exchange networks are set up in various regions
A national steering group is set up with cross-regional participation.
A national
steering group
is set up with
cross-regional
participation.

Local pages (i.e. what's happening, Local Refugee Week events). Local networks ensure that an appropriate system is set up for managing and updating local pages.

National website is set up with local pages.

7. Proposed Project Models YEAR ONE LOCAL Local Exchange networks are set up in various regions

NATIONAL

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

YEAR TWO

LOCAL

YEAR TWO LOCAL Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for involvement in

Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for involvement in national exchange event.

YEAR TWO LOCAL Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for involvement in

Proposal is made to the national steering group.

Coordinator sets up steering group and begins collecting input for national event for year three.

Continuing Local networks development of contribute to local pages. national pages.
Continuing
Local networks
development of
contribute to
local pages.
national pages.
YEAR TWO LOCAL Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for involvement in
Possible Event development profiled on of bi-regional local pages exchange of website. event / project.
Possible
Event
development
profiled on
of bi-regional
local pages
exchange
of website.
event /
project.
Website coordinator profiles content of national significance in consultation with local groups / regional networks.
Website coordinator
profiles content of
national significance
in consultation with
local groups /
regional networks.
National coordinator begins building strategic and policy links and relationships.
National
coordinator
begins building
strategic and
policy links and
relationships.

Events profiled on national website.

NATIONAL

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

YEAR THREE & LEGACY

LOCAL

YEAR THREE & LEGACY LOCAL Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for

Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for involvement in nationa exchange event. Proposal is made to national steering group.

NATIONAL EXCHANGE EVENT (all regions come together in a central British area. This event would be a series of days (minimum of 3) showcasing, exchanging, workshopping and sharing the results of 2 years' work.

NATIONAL EXCHANGE EVENT (event publicity and content profiled on local and national pages).

NATIONAL

LOCAL NETWORKS ARE SELF-SUFFICIENT

YEAR THREE & LEGACY LOCAL Continuing the growth of local network and development of ideas for

WEBSITE SEEKS SUSTAINABLE FUNDING

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This model is dependent on:

Significant and appropriate infrastructural support from strategic bodies at regional level and some financial support e.g. Arts Council (regional), Local Authorities, & Museums, Libraries and Archives for local events An active and sustainable network in each participating region with sustained participation from stakeholders A body in each region with responsibility for local web pages on the national site; A lead person or organisation in each region who will coordinate the local network and be responsible for liaising with the national steering group Further fundraising for the National Exchange event in year 3 A national body or individual with overall responsibility for managing the project A national body or individual with overall responsibility for managing the website

  • 8. The Managing Organisation’s Roles and Responsibilities

  • 1. Draw up project plan/proposal

  • 2. Draw up and implement budget

  • 3. Establish ‘buy in’ participation from regions against criteria

  • 4. Implement contractual agreements with regions (lead person or organisation and strategic bodies)

  • 5. Create web structure to incorporate local and national pages, working with a web designer/manager

  • 6. Monitor and support local developments, communicating with stakeholders on a regular basis

  • 7. Provide a strategic overview

  • 8. Fundraise for Year 3

  • 9. Take the lead in organising a national event for Year 3 with input from regions

10.Facilitate a steering group

11.Ensure stake-holder ownership of project

12. Attend local events

13.Legacy and strategic development

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Appendices

  • 1 Consultation meetings in London on 22 nd May 2009

    • 1.1. Participants

    • 1.2. Conference content grading

    • 1.3. Discussion following conference grading

    • 1.4. Who is the conference for?

    • 1.5. Roles & responsibilities

    • 1.6. Imagining

    • 1.7. Desired outcome of conference? (to offer and take away)

    • 1.8. What should the conference achieve?

    • 1.9. Web questionnaire

      • 1.10. Open discussion

        • 2 Consultation meeting in Newcastle on 20 th July 20009

          • 2.1 Participants

          • 2.2 Conference content grading

          • 2.3 Discussion following conference grading

          • 2.4 Who is the conference for

          • 2.5 Roles & responsibilities

          • 2.6 Imagining

          • 2.7 Desired outcome of conference? (to offer and take away)

          • 2.8 Web questionnaire

          • 2.9 Open discussion

            • 3 Consultation meeting in Leeds on 24 TH July 2009

              • 3.1 Participants

              • 3.2 Conference content grading

              • 3.3 Discussion following conference grading

              • 3.4 Roles & responsibilities

              • 3.5 Imagining

              • 3.6 Web questionnaire

              • 3.7 Open discussion

              • 3.8 Detailed comments from a participant at the Leeds workshop

                • 4 Consultation meeting in Glasgow – 28 th July 2009

                  • 4.1 Participants

                  • 4.2 Conference content grading

                  • 4.3 Other suggested topics for the conference

                  • 4.4 Discussion following conference grading

                  • 4.5 Roles & responsibilities

                  • 4.6 Imagining

                  • 4.7 Web questionnaire and comments

                    • 5 Online Survey - Respondents

                    • 6 Online survey - National Website

                      • 6.1 Grading of ideas for the website

                      • 6.2 Chart featuring the most valuable website ideas

                      • 6.3 List of additional online comments re the national website

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7

Online Survey – National Conference Content

  • 7.1 Grading of potential topics for the national conference

  • 7.2 Chart featuring the most valuable conference topics

  • 7.3 List of additional online comments re national conference

  • 7.4 What would you hope to gain by attending the conference?

  • 7.5 What could you offer at the conference

    • 8 Online Participants – about themselves

    • 9 Refugee Related Arts Consultation Meeting plan

      • 10 All Participants Data

      • 11 Charts and diagrams

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Appendix 1: Consultation meetings in London on 22 nd May 2009

  • 1.1. Participants Mowes Adem, Writer & coordinator, Horn Reflections Eleanor Cocks, Rewrite Sheila Hayman, Visual artist and programme leader Margareta Kern, visual artist John Morales, theatre practitioner and workshop leader Catherine Mummery, Music for Change Katie Moritz, Waterman’s Arts Centre Eithne Nightingale, V&A Zory Shakrokhi, Visual artist Nadine Wood, Serious

  • 1.2. Conference content grading

(How interesting and how familiar is the topic?)

  • 1. Ethics and representation

  • 2. Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

  • 3. Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

  • 4. Using arts as an awareness raising tool

  • 5. Seeing work created in other national contexts

  • 6. Intercultural work

  • 7. The ‘refugee’ label in arts

  • 8. Participatory arts

  • 9. Young people / education / youth arts

    • 10. Arts as a tool for integration

    • 11. Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles)

    • 12. Arts being used to challenge hostility

    • 13. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes

    • 14. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?)

    • 15. The diversity agenda

    • 16. Training professional development for artists and practitioners

Rank in order of importance (see pie chart document)

 

42

Arts organisations Individual artists from refugee

39

backgrounds

Policy makers/funders

37

Bigger arts institutions

36

Refugee Sector (Refugee Council etc)

30

 

29

Refugee Community organisations Individual artists who engage with this work.

24

The Media

14

Academics/training institutions

14

  • 1.2. Discussion following conference grading

(More information about reasons for grading topics in terms of importance, and taking names of

other people who may be interested in contributing towards the project)

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  • - Access to arts institutions: - often it is as simple as travel, public transport. If the agency has enough money we need to improve physical access.

  • - Share case studies of the ways organisations have supported access to the arts.

  • - Larger institutions working with smaller organisations – to hear about those successful partnerships, where there has been an improvement in all types of access.

  • - The contributions people can make: - in the V&A, objects by refugees. Maximising resources.

  • - There aren’t enough opportunities for these people – financial access should be a key concern.

  • - Reliance on short-term funding is becoming a real problem.

  • - Progression and change – there’s a sort of static situation where refugee artists are stuck in the same place and not progressing. These artists are always dependant on someone to help them. Can they become independent??

  • - National agendas: Olympics – how to get funding out of other agendas.

  • - Cross boundary: Different agencies coming together to share knowledge and experience.

  • - Arts advocacy: - the other way around, the arts can be used as a tool to advocate.

  • - Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates: A conference is not a good space for representing art, if it’s an ‘added extra’. A curator should be responsible. Art shouldn’t be like wallpaper; if it’s done it should be a way to challenge and make an impact.

  • - Diversity agenda: How do you engage with 2 nd and 3 rd generation? Which label applies to them?

  • - The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) Phraseology – organisations might say ‘we’re doing the world music scene’ (for example) but not consult with smaller organisations and networks across the scene.

  • - Quite a complicated exercise – the topics could be put into subgroups?

  • - Migration and gender could be a good umbrella title – not seeing of that being spoken about

  • - Mainstream arts – there are a lot of contemporary artists who are working on migration as a theme, so it would be quite interesting to showcase / present this idea.

  • - UCL – T.J. Demos – Zones of Conflict: Migration and Contemporary Art

  • 1.3. Who is the conference for?

    • - The media would only represent a superficial view if invited to the conference. Would this defeat the object?

    • - We should go for an approach which involves the people closest to the work i.e. artists and arts organisations.

    • - A conference would only work if the people who need to be ‘advocated’ to it were engaged in the first place.

    • - If it’s too broad it doesn’t achieve anything – framing the conference with correct issues will be meaningless if people invited to speak at the conference represent ‘tokenism’ and are the usual suspects.

    • - Conferences often attract the same kinds of people. In general refugee artists do not attend but they are important.

    • - We don’t want the ‘same old conference’ again. Does it achieve anything? A national conference might not be the answer. Will the people who go make a difference? Instead, a number of small events? Don’t want something that is just putting on a show of importance.

    • - Is the conference the best way of working?

    • - Media is deemed to be important to get the message across

    • - Academic institutions could include universities, colleges, etc

    • - Media have the power to communicate messages to the community.

    • - Mixed views – arguably all important!

    • - If you’re going to attract artists, the conference needs to be a bit more creative… and the people therefore need to be a bit more creative.

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1.4.

Roles & responsibilities

(Imagine that a conference is developed through collaboration between a managing organisation and stake holders. To ensure that the process of organising and planning the conference continues to represent stake holders what recommendations would you make to the funders and organisers? How would the relationship between stake holders and organisers work? Practical suggestions!)

  • - Interested in discovering how this dialogue being conducted today (and soon to be conducted in other cities) continues once we’ve handed in the recommendations that we’ve received; to ensure that there is the potential for this dialogue to continue.

  • - ACE are interested on how the structure of conferences and networking can be arranged so that people can benefit from this work.

  • - How can people that we haven’t reached this time be accessed next time? Feedback

  • - SB: It’s more challenging to access refugee artists and get in contact with them. It’s hard to contact newly arrived artists because there are no big networks: there are some networks, but nothing across the arts. In 99 there was a big push to find new artists – this dwindled about 4 years ago. Prior to then, a lot of refugee artists were established, but now the problem is finding the new!

  • - If there is a diversity scheme to support them they will use it… if they know about it!

  • - It’s about accessing the right networks so artists can come to us.

(Most important points)

  • - More people with refugee backgrounds need to be involved.

  • - More refugee organisations involved, e.g. 1/5 people present here today are from a refugee background.

  • - Audit of services

  • - Appointed administrator

  • - Effective communication, outreach, word of mouth…

  • - Why are people declining offers to participate?

  • - Refugee organisations are not that joined up… people are working in isolation.

  • - Refugee Week conference needs to be recognised! There is important knowledge to be shared.

  • - Hillingdon had a massive street party event, but Hounslow don’t do anything.

  • - Grassroot RCOs work in isolation – they’re no joined up.

  • - Strong communication strategy that connects people and an audit needs to be implemented.

  • - Facebook, Twitter – interaction message boards.

  • - Database of related organisations.

  • - Going along to meetings, reaching out, building relationships – not just sending an email.

  • - Lots of outreach is needed!

  • - People skills: - being able to network in the first instance. The people who are arranging the conferences need to be expert communicators and networkers!

  • - Perhaps use other languages?

  • - Actually consulting refugees and finding out what they think, what they want – make them involved, and make sure they are at the conferences! It’s their voices that need to be heard.

  • - It would be great if the Barring Foundation / Paul Hamlyn bring together ‘big players’ in the arts at a senior level to discuss how institutions can respond / are responding, apart from one-ff, short-term projects.

  • - Outcome: Market place event – something different – artists pitching for work to be developed.

  • - Mapping

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

  • - Consultation sessions

  • - ‘One minute’ say – video your opinion

  • - Seek proposals for presentations

  • - Steering group – members representing stake-holders

  • - Identifying an organisation within each region to feed back

  • - Concern that there will be too much consultation and not enough action.

  • - Website to get people’s feedback and to connect

  • - Replacing the ‘national conference’ with a series of regional events (interactive through website)

  • - Small focused event for the artists and practitioners to have a practical dialogue directly with policy makers and funders – practical outcomes – How to get there: A good planning committee made up from funders, policy makers and artists (artists and expert freelance practitioners must be paid).

(Other points)

  • - Not just a database of potential financial support – but having a cross reference to organisations that have received money, that has been through that process, so that we can engage them in discussion and find out how the process works, what was their experience.

  • - Tips for applying to a certain fund.

1.5. Imagining

(Imagine a moment at a conference {real or imaginary} where they are inspired, excited, challenged or thoughtful and describe the moment using words and images – what is happening, what they are doing, what others are doing… then imagine the complete opposite – a moment when they are bored, frustrated, disengaged, excluded…)

Negative:

  • - Thinking ‘what has this got to do with me and my work’

  • - Any panel discussion

  • - Remit old debate

  • - Competitive atmosphere

  • - Any PowerPoint presentation

  • - Anybody reading something aloud that we can all read for ourselves

  • - And anyone saying ‘target’ or ‘outcome’

  • - Electric shock

  • - Limelight hogging

  • - Repetition

  • - Too stuffy and formal

  • - All theory, no action. Too much jargon

  • - Patronising

  • - No introductions

  • - Person leading conference lacking sincerity, passion, enthusiasm, energy

  • - Limited information or irrelevant information

  • - Series of keynote speakers that are supposed to be strategic but are just institutional and they run on by 20 minutes so there’s only 3 minutes for questions which are always about funding.

  • - Every speaker is saying the same thing (picture of sleeping bored person)

  • - Listening to policy maker or funder giving lectures that I can find on the internet.

  • - Long talks with no end

  • - Talks in a jargon that no-one catches

  • - Feeling all the money has gone on glossy brochures/reports that no-one of importance will neither probably read or do anything about

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Positive:

  • - Feeling alive, engaging and it being a dialogue.

  • - Using visual art, drama, music and the spoken word.

  • - Inspired by passion, enthusiasm, new insight, lively discussions, and fruitful ways of working.

  • - Relaxed atmosphere.

  • - Varied activities and time to reflect and take it all in.

  • - A performance, or a demonstration, or energetic, passionate people that bring the conference alive.

  • - Who’s the expert? - Putting practitioners in charge.

  • - People who lead conferences who inspire everyone in the room, who make you challenge your own inhibitions.

  • - Having experts present, to inform and stimulate creativity.

  • - Games to get ideas flowing.

  • - Make it about ART.

  • - Creativity is about taking risks. There should be some risk, or something that takes people out of their comfort zone. Allowing something new to happen within a conference.

  • - Interactivity with music, art, drama, audience – at a conference.

  • - Making a conference more ‘hands on’.

  • - Networking with someone that can develop a relationship, and confidence.

  • - Informal chat, people coming and going, speaking and being recognised, being part of the process, using music… something informal and unexpected.

  • - Food!

  • - A combination between party and demonstration, rather than a stereotypical conference.

  • - Recognising how different people respond: some like getting involved, others like to take a backseat, listen and watch a PowerPoint presentation.

  • - Making it culturally relevant: - making the conferences more about the participants.

  • - Inclusively and structure needs to be relevant.

  • - Including a variety of perspectives, from a range of people from different walks of life!

  • - Conversation between 3 service users and a very good chair who drew out individual stories and wider issues. The conference attendees were ‘spectators’ and could later ask questions. The stories/experiences were moving and inspiring, it worked better because it was a conversation not a presentation and drawing out wider issues ensured that it related back to our work.

  • - Hearing how someone made a project/event happen…inspiring me to try something new.

  • - Seeing a devastatingly gripping showcase performance making someone (funder) to jump out crying “I want to fund this project/activity”

  • - “Confess- Rest” Where the artist will have the opportunity to share some creative – games and dynamics to show them (policy makers/orgs) how important the impact of our work in the community and society is – by their own experience

  • - Witnessing young people from refugee communities voting for the arts programme in projects they want to see happen with them or for their peers.

  • 1.6. Desired outcome of conference? (to offer and take away)

Offer

  • - ESOL case study examples

  • - Media case study examples

  • - Writers’ workshop

  • - Passion!

  • - Addressing the cultural Olympiad and recognising it as a big funding opportunity

  • - Ideas and resources of how to work with bigger cultural organisations

  • - To collaborate with other artists

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

  • - Games, activities etc. If there is a mix of people, specific activities to understand each other and to get a flavour of what affect the workshop have on people.

  • - Don’t make the event to square and rigid

  • - Something that can change the atmosphere in a room – i.e. entering a creative labyrinth

  • - Kick start the fact it’s going to be different by having something artistically amazing i.e. an installation mixing art forms.

  • - It’s vital that artists are involved in the heart of this.

  • - Something that grows – an installation that is added to by participants

  • - Research Contact: UCL T.J Demos ZONES OF CONFLICT Migration and contemporary art

  • - Good food provided by local refugee catering contacts

  • - Serious case study re good practice music education

  • - A story or poem (Mowes)

  • - Music in Detention: A demo music workshop (John 07828 065624)

  • - Grand Union: Case studies presented by young people from refugee families or artists talking from experience (020 7375 1122)

Take away

  • - Gain knowledge of intercultural work – and more practical examples, in participatory work

  • - Sense of new worlds to explore!

  • - Waterman’s has done big projects across the city that involves refugees, schools, etc

  • - Learn new ways of planning and delivering projects – different people, different ways of working, how you can expand work into different areas.

  • - Offer ideas and resources about how to open up a large cultural institution.

  • - Model of combined organisations.

  • - Successful case studies.

  • - Information and advice.

  • - Space for mistakes.

  • - Take away ways of working, partnerships… conferences that pushes thinking.

  • - Projects can push institutions an awful long way, but there is a bigger framework to consider, meeting between the policy makers and the stake-holders.

  • - Decibel scheme – a lot of emphasis on diversity, we can look at how refugee artists have accessed that scheme. Have these schemes been useful or could they be useful?

  • - How do artists move forward? To write the ‘Grants for the Arts’ application in a language you’re not familiar with is not practical!

  • - Take networking from the conference.

  • - List of organisations and names – break out sessions are the most useful for networking – small groupings, sometimes the random connections are the best.

  • - Small networks are better. We want to take away unusual connections

  • - A book of stories – something creative to get you thinking.

  • - Contacts for future work X 3

  • - Cross sector – unusual connections

  • - Networking

  • 1.7. What should the conference achieve?

    • - It needs to make an impact, not just be lip service.

    • - Attract a new partnership, and an artistic relationship

    • - At the end of the conference, we want something to happen. An agreed outcome, an activity initiated at the conference, developed at the conference – “a conference-born initiative!” i.e. not to produce just another conference with “the same old stuff”

    • - Ways forward for more effective partnership projects.

    • - Greater work opportunities for ‘refugee’ artists.

    • - Make links between regions, and organisations, companies and artists at national level, with possibility for international links.

    • - More commitment to exiled art from funders and arts organisations

    • - Inspiration for projects/collaborations between organisations/artists (linked to case studies/best practice)

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Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

  • - New collaborative projects

  • - Broaden understanding and break mainstream margins/barriers through showcasing work of artists.

  • - Improvements in quality of work by practitioners and organisations.

  • - Raise awareness of the overall ‘refugee’ debate.

  • - New connections between issues as well as people

  • 1.8. Web questionnaire (See web questionnaire doc)

    • - Grade 10 suggestions about what might be useful on the website

    • - Any suggestions for the website?

    • - Describe connection to refugee arts

    • - Planning to launch the questionnaire online: any suggestions for improvement? (No)

  • 1.9. Open discussion (Recommendations, comments, feedback…)

    • - What is the overall aim of the conference?

    • - To get clarity from stake-holders to see what needs to be addressed, such as stronger networks, stronger influence…

    • - Who is the conference targeted at? Refugee artists? Refugees? Organisations?

    • - It is a national conference – it needs to be small enough to be a meaningful experience for people.

    • - Who should be invited?

    • - This is something we’re trying to determine. Who do you think should be invited? So far… practitioners, refugee artists, people from bigger arts institutions… who else needs to hear the voices? Policy makers, funders, refugee organisations such as Refugee Council…? Should people apply?

    • - What is the art for? To change the world, make people feel better, what…?

    • - The ACE does has a diversity plan: are organisations being forced to do this work or is it a conscious choice?

    • - Where should it be? In a different place each time? Should it be central?

    • - £150,000 available – should last 3 or 4 years.

    • - It needs to be an annual conference plus a website.

    • - It needs to involve art organisations that work with refugees.

    • - Is it about developing artistic practice or is about reaching out the net?

    • - There is a conference for something else to be recommended… making things more accessible and opening up…

    • - Funding shouldn’t be given to the organisation but to the artist: - it should be about professional development.

    • - DC: ‘We would like to combine our muscle with your brains’

    • - There will be different views: it is open to different ways of thinking but with an extremely small amount of money.

    • - The recommendation to have conferences and website came out of a big consultation – so it is representing what has been said.

    • - A conference is fine as long as it does this…

    • - There are possibilities that things come out informally from these conferences, such as networks, the sense of ‘belonging’ to a cause, an organisation, ideas can be explored, etc.

    • - It’s through the interaction that we start thinking more in-depth about it.

    • - The building is important. The space needs to reflect the flavour of the day. A conference hall makes it very ‘conferency’. Where you hold it sends a message about what it is. Showcasing and performance will get lost in the wrong venue.

    • - Circus tent?

    • - Non-artists will come and experience ‘our world’ and see if they like it.

    • - Entrance fee needs to be taken into account.

    • - No ‘death by flipchart’!

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    • - Think it would be great if whatever comes out of thinking/strategy that Barings/PHF bring together ‘big players’ in the arts at a senior level to discuss how institutions can respond/are responding apart from one off/short term projects.

    Appendix 2: Consultation meeting in Newcastle on 20 th July 2009

    1. Participants

    Janine Ness Simon Constable Daniel Larson Sidhu Oscar Watson Kathlene McCreery Sneita Kaur Alexandra Heley Louise Taylor Bex Mather Philip Hoffman Peter Adegbie Rowenna Foggie Manoute Seri Kay Hepplewhite Tidson Ndhlovu Patyo Mari Mungwande Dana Ahmadi Joseph Kamanga Jenny Young Mai Twynham Giles Carey Ali Flanagan Padma Rao Nicholas Baumfield

    Crisis Blue Rain Productions Blue Rain Productions NECDAF

    Refugee Voices The Sage Gateshead The Sage Gateshead The Sage Gateshead Live Theatre

    NESMP WABEHIA York St John's Uni

    Sing Up Plumleaf Community NCC Arts Development Team NCC Arts Development Team ACE NE ACE NE

    • 2.1. Conference content grading (see pie chart/conference grading doc) (How interesting and how familiar is the topic?)

      • 17. Ethics and representation

      • 18. Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

      • 19. Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

      • 20. Using arts as an awareness raising tool

      • 21. Seeing work created in other national contexts

      • 22. Intercultural work

      • 23. The ‘refugee’ label in arts

      • 24. Participatory arts

      • 25. Young people / education / youth arts

      • 26. Arts as a tool for integration

      • 27. Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles)

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    28.

    Arts being used to challenge hostility

    • 29. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes

    • 30. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?)

    • 31. The diversity agenda

    • 32. Training professional development for artists and practitioners

    Interesting

    • 1. Ethics and representation X15

    1) Ethics and representation

    • 2. Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

    2) Traditional / heritage arts &

     

    X15

    refugees X2

    • 3. Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

    3) Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show

     

    X12

    debates X6

    • 4. Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    4) Using arts as an awareness raising

     

    X15

    tool X4

    • 5. Seeing work created in other national contexts X4

    5) Seeing work created in other national contexts X10

    • 6. Presentations by visiting practitioners

    6) Presentations by visiting

     

    X7

    practitioners X5

    • 7. Intercultural work X17

    7) Intercultural work X1

    • 8. The ‘refugee’ label in arts X4

    8) The ‘refugee’ label in arts X3

    • 9. Participatory arts X12

    9) Participatory arts X2

    • 10. Young people / education / youth arts

    10) Young people / education / youth

     

    X12

    arts X4

    • 11. Arts as a tool for integration X11

    11) Arts as a tool for integration X3

    • 12. Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X6

    12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X7

    • 13. Arts being used to challenge hostility

    13) Arts being used to challenge

     

    X12

    hostility X5

    • 14. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X9

    14) Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X7

    • 15. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X6

    15) The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X5

    • 16. The diversity agenda X7

    16) The diversity agenda X6

    17.

    Training professional development for artists and practitioners X9

    17) Training professional development for artists and practitioners X5

    • 1. Ethics and representation X4

    1) Ethics and representation

    • 2. Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

    2) Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

     

    X1

    3) Showcasing / exhibitions /

    • 3. Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

    performances and post show debates 4) Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    • 4. Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    5) Seeing work created in other

     

    X2

    national contexts X3

    5.

    Seeing work created in other national contexts

    6) Presentations by visiting practitioners 7) Intercultural work

    • 6. Presentations by visiting practitioners

    8) The ‘refugee’ label in arts X2

     

    X6

    9) Participatory arts X1

    • 7. Intercultural work X1

    10) Young people / education / youth

    • 8. The ‘refugee’ label in arts X8

    arts X1

    • 9. Participatory arts X1

    11) Arts as a tool for integration

    • 10. Young people / education / youth arts

    12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the

     

    X2

    battles) X1

    11.

    Arts as a tool for integration

    13) Arts being used to challenge hostility

    • 12. Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X2

    14) Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X1

    • 13. Arts being used to challenge hostility

    15) The mainstream arts context / larger

     

    X1

    arts institutions / barriers to artists (do

    • 14. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X1

    refugees access the big institutions?) 16) The diversity agenda

    • 15. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X10

    17) Training professional development for artists and practitioners X3

    • 16. The diversity agenda X3

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    17. Training professional development for artists and practitioners X1

     

    Not interesting / familiar

    Not familiar

    2.2.

    Discussion following conference grading

    Group one

    All cities are doing a different thing - glass ceiling raises the stakes

    Ongoing nature of work – big events don’t have an impact on consciousness – limited role.

    People who attend event are already converted There needs to be time to lead up to an event

    Multiple levels – different functions

    Funding bodies need to there

    Need to represent refugees

    Arts need higher profile

    It’s to complex to achieve in a short time

    Conference doesn’t replace core funding

    Group two

    Money to attend conference is an issue for some

    Thing generally happen in London. R&AS miss out because of cost

    Diversity is a new thing in Newcastle – the view of diversity here is a bit primitive

    A conference is in danger of being meaningless to a large majority of people

    Refugee artists need to represented

    Clarity is needed about who it is for

    The conference should be performance based, creative, making, watching

    It should be free – or sponsored places

    It should challenge the way we think though critical debate

    The conference should not feel segregated, not just BME focused. It should involve people

    form other venues who do not specialise in BME work. It should involve the bigger organisations

    Who is it for? And what do we want to do? (Questions of importance) There needs to be

    lead up work. The focus could be on how we better make the case for this work locally by learning and interacting on a national level. It should raise the profile of the work, give ownership.

    It should be for anyone who wants to progress the questions.

    Big organisations are sometime fearful – How do we empower arts organisation?

    Should young people be there? (Lots of people said this)

    People do not always have the confidence to participate, there are barriers. Refugees are focussed on survival, finance etc. But if people are empowered they get confidence. We need a strategy to involve the least empowered people and empower them.

    2.3.

    Who is the conference for?

    -

    People who should be involved; - policy makers, funders, delivery organisations, practitioners, partners from other sectors, participants and their extended families, the general public.

    -

    There should be representatives from all sectors of the community and refugee community to clarify content of the consultation events.

    -

    “Should come from the people for the people”

    -

    We need a conference / festival that is multi-layered – enable funders / policy makers to talk, practitioners to share best practice, participants to show / share their activities, artists to showcase, public to engage.

    -

    The event has to have some element of refugee and asylum seeker involvement in planning, development and delivery. We don’t want a large organisation having sole responsibility. Please don’t forget refugee asylum seekers – there are enough skills, ideas

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    and drive to develop such events – they just need support. Shouldn’t they lead on something that is about them? I don’t want the situation where they feel the event is not about them and a large organisation / group of people tick their diversity boxes.

    • - There should be a presence of young people.

    • 2.4. Roles & responsibilities

    (Imagine that a conference is developed through collaboration between a managing organisation and stake holders. To ensure that the process of organising and planning the conference continues to represent stake holders what recommendations would you make to the funders and organisers? How would the relationship between stake holders and organisers work? Practical suggestions!)

    • - Interested in discovering how this dialogue being conducted today (and soon to be conducted in other cities) continues once we’ve handed in the recommendations that we’ve received; to ensure that there is the potential for this dialogue to continue.

    • - ACE are interested on how the structure of conferences and networking can be arranged so that people can benefit from this work.

    • - How can people that we haven’t reached this time be accessed next time?

    Feedback

    • 2.5. Imagining

    (Imagine a moment at a conference {real or imaginary} where they are inspired, excited, challenged or thoughtful and describe the moment using words and images – what is happening,

    what they are doing, what others are doing… then imagine the complete opposite – a moment when they are bored, frustrated, disengaged, excluded…)

    Negative:

    • - Being talked at for hours by ‘experts’, public figures, politicians, theoreticians, but not ‘wishy washy’ either.

    • - Dry sessions without debate, notes from sessions not sent around afterwards, too much PowerPoint and not enough discussion, limited or no interaction, no space, poor light, discussion sessions not facilitated well, no young people, no diversity, and no combination of attendees from different cultures.

    • - Thinking: ‘why am I here?’ and ‘same old sandwiches ’ ...

    • - Unable to relate to the given information.

    • - Struggling to ‘network’ when you don’t know who anyone is or where they come from (organisation) / being at a conference with no delegate list.

    • - Going to events / projects that are about refugees and asylum seekers yet no one from the community has been involved.

    • - Being told that they don’t have resources to involve Refugee / Asylum Seeker community – all you need to do is invite people!

    • - Being ‘brow beaten’ by members of a breakout group for questioning the status quo of funding.

    • - We need to support younger artists more.

    • - Being bored – being talked at and receiving too much information.

    • - Endless speeches with ‘feedback / Q&A’ – might as well read a set of emails!

    • - Event feels like a tick box token exercise.

    • - In a big hall with dry, meaningless speakers / PowerPoint presentations.

    • - Feeling like the other attendees are there to have a day off work!

    • - Events/conferences that are always based in London.

    • - Events/conferences that are facilitated by a social research / fundraising consultancy

    • - Not creating an impact, not feeling part of the wider context.

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    • - Feels bureaucratic; - presented by politicians / bureaucrats.

    • - Too much choice! Lots of very interesting workshops / discussions and not being able to choose which one to go to – feeling like you might be missing out on something better when you’re in your chosen session.

    • - No time to network / talk / meet people when there is a cram packed schedule, you can find yourself going from one session to another in isolation.

    • - Too much information.

    • - Cold room, boring presentations, don’t know anyone… ‘Why am I here? Help!’

    • - Power status re-enforced by some speaking on behalf of others without mandate.

    • - National can sometimes mean only higher levels of organisations are heard.

    • - Sometimes views can come across as being radical off-putting. Messages to be delivered with tact.

    • - Refugees and asylum seekers are continuously talked about as a homogenous group rather than a group of individuals.

    • - Patronising and boring monologue-like speeches.

    Positive:

    • - Welcoming, refugee voices, artists, networking, work shopping best practice, clear and focused.

    • - Sparks challenge, information, warmth, joy, learning, relationship building, actual practise shared, welcoming, inclusive, busy, reflective, supportive, meaningful, young, active, encouraging action, forward-looking facilitation, inspiring, passionate presenting…

    • - Major arts institutions make commitment (from their own funds) to support artists who are refugees or asylum seekers and to build audiences amongst refugee and asylum seeker communities.

    • - Learning about African heritage presented in an interesting and entertaining way.

    • - Watching a performance by refugee related professional artists in collaboration that blows the audience away.

    • - An event that allows artists to illustrate their point through art / performance.

    • - Listening to the voice of those who rarely get heard.

    • - Being in a room filled with interesting, like-minded people talking about really interesting projects…

    • - Sharing knowledge, experiences and ideas.

    • - Learning about changes and advances in the sector. Legislation, funding, etc.

    • - Practical activities, group contributions.

    • - Group emails to be sent to willing participants – to keep in touch with each other.

    • - Young people being given the opportunity to tell delegates what’s important to them, what they’ve valued from a project, what’s they’ve gained from a project – then to share the work they’ve created.

    • - An event which incorporates a fantastic mix of sector professionals and members of the public enjoying fantastic showcases.

    • - Learning new skills.

    • - Events that allow the opportunity to be creative.

    • - Being in a stimulating location surrounded by all kinds of art forms – visual stimulation, music, theatre, performance, art works being demonstrated by refugees and practitioners from all over the UK.

    • - Inspiring the young and the old.

    • - All regions represented in meaningful ways

    • - Presented by talented, intelligent artists, practitioners, and young people.

    • - A conference where everyone has got new and interesting ideas.

    • - A lively atmosphere that demands contribution; - the practical participation and sharing of work.

    • - Learning new practice from a variety of artists.

    • - Listening to ideas for projects and events from the refugee and asylum seeker community.

    • - Presenters who have the drive, passion, skill and ability to present.

    • - Listening to a truly inspirational speaker talking from personal experience.

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    • - Sharing ideas with other people that understand my background and culture.

    • - Opportunity to get to know and participate actively and practically with other participants and sensing that something will change as a result - not just a good time for those who attend but leading to concrete proposals and actions. An event which succeeds in drawing the thread together coherently – example from relevant good practice you can actually learn from.

    • - Not too rigid a structure – human / friendly / considerate.

    • - Discussion sessions.

    • - Good food!

    • - Opportunity to meet good contacts/networking opportunities.

    • - Inspirational, challenging, reflective…

    • - A flexible schedule / timetable with choice.

    • - Space and light.

    • - Running to time.

    • - Well organised.

    • - A combination of information, performance, fun and discussions with friendly people!

    • - Raising debate to a new and higher level by raising questions that raised our conscience to a new level – the use of language is important to bridge the gap between the mainstream.

    • 2.6. Desired outcome of conference? (To offer and take away)

    Offer

    • - Need people who are locally based participating

    • - Accessible, inclusive

    • - Database of everyone that has been involved in the consultation

    • - Involving people from inception and led by them in the event

    • - Alongside event planning a parallel activity of strategic planning

    • - Regions doing pre-work with participants leading up to the event

    • - Communicate links to government policy

    • - How can we stimulate learning and debate and develop stronger communication mechanisms to make the case?

    • - Developing a regional strategy leading to a national strategy

    • - Concrete proposals leading to genuine activity

    • - Integrity – not exploiting artists

    • - Developed by the refugee artist

    • - Involvement of people who have no status – whose asylum claims have been rejected, and they are illegal’s

    • - Refugees and asylum seekers involved in the planning, development and delivery of the project

    • - Target as many funders as possible to attend

    • - Responsibility to identify new local artists and showcase them on a local and national level

    • - Central database of artists and organisations held and maintained by regional ACE offices

    • - Consultation with refugee / as organisations is a must, as well as ACE, a National Steering Group

    • - Exciting venues and spaces!

    • - Perhaps a 3 year festival with one or more theme / focus each year, bringing art funders, and key regional deliveries together each year. A continuous sense of events

    • - Not in London

    • - We need a central website as a resource; case studies, tool kits, forums

    Take away

    • - Contacts for the future

    • - Practical skills from experienced practitioners

    • - An artwork (painting / print, etc) that I could buy and take away

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    • - Group memories

    • - Friends, knowledge, experience

    • - A shared understanding

    • - Opportunity to be part of change

    • - Inspired thinking and arts practise

    • - New and different views and ideas

    • - Inform regional practice and thinking

    • - Inspiration

    • - Networking opportunities

    • - A new approach to making arts accessible

    • - Inspiring work and ways for refugees to make a living within the legislation and rules

    • - Information about artists profiles

    • - Information about development resources

    • - Where to go for funding to support activities

    • - Learning new techniques

    • - Useful contacts for future projects

    • - Knowledge of and contact details for artists / practitioners in my region

    • - Greater knowledge of funding opportunities

    • - Knowledge and assurance that funders have listened to us, what our needs are and what we do with it

    • - Assurance that the work is being taken seriously and that the funding will follow

    • - The sense that the conference is prepared to challenge the status quo – the attitude of the British government which creates and perpetuates problems for asylum seekers and refugees. This issue goes beyond the arts – thus the importance of artists from AS and Refugee community driving the process.

    • 2.7. Web questionnaire (see online web questionnaires)

      • - Grade 10 suggestions about what might be useful on the website

      • - Any suggestions for the website?

      • - Describe connection to refugee arts

      • - Planning to launch the questionnaire online.

  • 2.8. Open discussion (Recommendations, comments, feedback…) Expanding

    • - We need to consider how we will link this work with ongoing events.

    • - Can there be a conference in several locations simultaneously to aim for grass root participation?

    • - There needs to be a sense of working towards and contributing to national strategy development.

    • - Progression for North East relationships; inspirational techniques and skills can be shared across communities, e.g. sharing practice of projects.

    • - We need to interact with events in other cities, so we can challenge each other and learn from one another to raise our standards.

    • - The regions could be represented at a national event and separate organisations practising amazing work within each region could have a responsibility for contributing towards the event.

    • - This can be a national event; - activities / projects in each region are unique according to the make up of communities in that region. This shouldn’t be lost in a regional event; each region has its own identity and this should be reflected at any national event that might take place.

    • - Make more use of black history month.

    • - A diverse festival / event which connects venues.

    • - City wide; - the work may have been created locally or nationally or internationally.

    • - Regional events with a national road show.

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    • - I think a moving / travelling event should be considered, perhaps regional that could include local selected artists – as well as those from other regions travelling like the refugees. Break the country into regions. Perhaps we can learn some lesions from the 1930s when refugee artists etc left Nazi Germany and found sanctuary in the UK? Communication

    • - Sharing practice; - both national and regional examples.

    • - Relationship building locally – sharing opportunities.

    • - Collect content from the community (schools, community groups, etc)

    • - Outreach into the community and into education to collate ideas and community steering groups to represent.

    • - Refugee week is an ideal opportunity to promote refugee art / artists and the need to encourage mainstream arts venues to showcase during this time has double benefits – allows exiled artists access to mainstream venues and audiences.

    • - Provides mainstream venues with new audience that not access their venue currently. Style

    • - Cultural high quality work.

    • - “Carousel” events; - different styles of delivery for different groups at the same event.

    • - A good event would be a series of smaller events of ‘spaces’, time slots curated by a range of arts organisations / artists / practitioners, i.e. workshops, art exhibitions.

    • - Layering; - festival / sharing. This could start as a regional event first, and then go national.

    • - Ensuring tendering process is not a barrier to refugee and asylum seeker communities – need to make the process so that they are able to tender.

    • - Need enough time to engage artists. Funding

    • - An event in itself will not sustain all the activity being delivered across the UK; - what about funding? Where is it coming from? How are organisations and artists working with (or who are) refugees to access this money?

    • - Could the funding for an ‘event’ be better spent elsewhere, i.e. exploring funding programmes in order to enable sustainability of the work?

    • - Fees / money for artists and representatives; a) to attend events, b) to showcase their work, c) to provide outreach and participatory activities to collect the voice of the people on a local, regional, then national level. Challenges

    • - National events are great but don’t make much impact on the consciousness of British people whose negative attitude to asylum seekers and refugees could do with changing. Ongoing / everyday work needs to continue.

    • - “Don’t show me what you know until I know how much you care” – this is a refugee perspective.

    • - If conferences are for decision makers, they must have a clear direction on what must change.

    Appendix 3: Consultation meeting in Leeds on 24 TH July 2009

    3.1.

    Participants

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    Tony Bowling, Koni Music Tomas Bahta R.K Briton, Pan Visual Gill Martin-Solace Cheryl Mutti, Refugee Council Hadia Hashim Saro Helen Moore, YSP Wondsen Haliemarayam Bereket Loul Dave Brown, Leeds Metropolitan University Fatima Ibrahim Sara Tekle Myra Davis Simon Andulewa Raphael Petta K Nama Clea Langton, Actors North, Ice & Fire

    • 3.2. Conference content grading (see pie chart/conference grading doc)

    (How interesting and how familiar is the topic?)

    • 1. Ethics and representation

    • 2. Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

    • 3. Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

    • 4. Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    • 5. Seeing work created in other national contexts

    • 6. Intercultural work

    • 7. The ‘refugee’ label in arts

    • 8. Participatory arts

    • 9. Young people / education / youth arts

      • 10. Arts as a tool for integration

      • 11. Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles)

      • 12. Arts being used to challenge hostility

      • 13. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes

      • 14. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?)

      • 15. The diversity agenda

      • 16. Training professional development for artists and practitioners

    Interesting

    1)

    Ethics and representation X5

    1)

    Ethics and representation X4

    2)

    Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

    2)

    Traditional / heritage arts &

    X8

    refugees X3

    3)

    Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

    3)

    Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show

    X8

    debates X3

    4)

    Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    4)

    Using arts as an awareness raising

    X7

    tool X5

    5)

    Seeing work created in other national contexts X1

    5)

    Seeing work created in other national contexts X3

    6)

    Presentations by visiting practitioners

    6)

    Presentations by visiting

    X5

    practitioners X5

    7)

    Intercultural work X9

    7)

    Intercultural work X2

    8)

    The ‘refugee’ label in arts X1

    8)

    The ‘refugee’ label in arts X2

    9)

    Participatory arts X5

    9)

    Participatory arts X4

    10) Young people / education / youth arts

    10) Young people / education / youth

     

    X9

    arts X3

    11) Arts as a tool for integration X8 12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X1 13) Arts being used to challenge hostility

    11) Arts as a tool for integration X5 12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X5 13) Arts being used to challenge

     

    X6

    hostility X4

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    Stella Barnes, Emily Hunka & Almir Koldzic, 2009

    14) Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X2 15) The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X1 16) The diversity agenda X5 17) Training professional development for artists and practitioners X7

    14) Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X4 15) The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X3 16) The diversity agenda X4 17) Training professional development for artists and practitioners X5

    1)

    Ethics and representation X6

    1) Ethics and representation X1

    2)

    Traditional / heritage arts & refugees

    2) Traditional / heritage arts &

    X5

    refugees X1

    3)

    Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show debates

    3) Showcasing / exhibitions / performances and post show

    X2

    debates X5

    4)

    Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    4) Using arts as an awareness raising tool

    X6

    5) Seeing work created in other

    5)

    Seeing work created in other national

    national contexts X5

    6)

    contexts X7 Presentations by visiting practitioners

    6) Presentations by visiting practitioners X3

    X3

    7) Intercultural work X1

    7)

    Intercultural work X3

    8) The ‘refugee’ label in arts X5

    8)

    The ‘refugee’ label in arts X7

    9) Participatory arts X2

    9)

    Participatory arts X3

    10) Young people / education / youth

    10) Young people / education / youth arts

    arts X1

     

    X2

    11) Arts as a tool for integration

    11) Arts as a tool for integration X3 12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X3 13) Arts being used to challenge hostility

    12) Advocacy in the arts (fighting the battles) X6 13) Arts being used to challenge hostility X2

     

    X4

    14) Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience

    • 18. Simulating the ‘refugee’ experience through arts processes X6

    through arts processes X2 15) The mainstream arts context /

    • 19. The mainstream arts context / larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X4

    larger arts institutions / barriers to artists (do refugees access the big institutions?) X7 16) The diversity agenda X1

    • 20. The diversity agenda X6

    17) Training professional development

    21.

    Training professional development for