These are some of the core beliefs and values that guide our work and inform our decisions:
1. ART CAN INSPIRE SOCIAL CHANGE
We believe that the arts can surprise, move, provoke, befuddle and delight us. It can help us question and imagine new ways of how we can live better together.
Art can provide a space for people to meet and learn about others – to connect with those who might seem distant or different.
2. Collaboration is in our DNA
Everything we do is delivered in collaboration with partners from the field of arts and culture, advocacy, policy, human rights, community based work, activism and education.
As a relatively small team we are committed to the transformative power of collaborative work – in the UK and internationally – and the old adage that ‘many hands make light work’.
3. Minding Our Language
While respecting people’s right to self-define, we also believe in reclaiming and strategically using the terms ‘migrant’ and ‘refugee’.
We do this to :
– recognise the historical and legal significance of these terms
– mobilise the more diverse representations of the cultural and human experiences often rendered silent in these terms.
4. COUNTERPOINTED perspectives create new ways of seeing and questioning
Refugees and migrants make hugely valuable contributions to our arts, culture and society. They have multiple (counterpointed) perspectives that often combine different languages, geographies and cultural perspectives, resulting in new ways of seeing and questioning.
5. Migration is nothing new
Migration is as old as the hills. It has shaped ‘who we are’ and ‘who we might become’.
It’s part of our everyday lives – let’s engage with, amplify and mainstream this historical and contemporary richness and keep the migration conversation moving.
6. Displacement can be both a traumatic and a transformative experience
People – young, old and in-between – who bring lived experiences of displacement to the table do not only have ‘heart-breaking’ tales to tell.
With this in mind we support the development and performance of a spectrum of comic, parodic, surreal and moving stories about the migration process, reflecting the full complexities of modern life.
7. THERE IS POWER IN SIMPLE ACTS
Our Simple Acts programme is about inspiring people to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees. It sounds simple – and it is!
Through actions as simple as reading a book, telling a story or sharing a dish, we can remove barriers between communities and make lasting changes to the neighbourhoods and communities around us.
8. REFUGEE AND MIGRANT COMMUNITIES BRING POTENTIAL TO THEIR LOCALITIES
‘Culture is ordinary’ and so is migration. Let’s normalise experiences of migration – make it part of our local vernacular.
We want every cultural centre, arts institution, school, community centre, park and public space to recognise the contributions refugee and migrants bring to their localities.
It’s a two-way street.
9. ARTISTS WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE OF DISPLACEMENT AND MIGRATION NEED TO BE PAID FOR THEIR WORK
Sounds obvious, but artists need to be paid for their work.
It’s not enough to give artists who have lived through experiences of migration and displacement a representative platform; they, too, are entitled to commercial parity and equality.
10. There is Civic Power in the act of Learning together
We believe that change comes about when learners from all walks of life make new meanings together.
We are committed to creating experimental and participatory learning spaces in which knowledge and practical knowhow is collectively shared and co-produced.
11. Re-Imagining Leadership
First-hand experience of migration & displacement informs all aspects of our work.
In challenging existing power structures across the cultural sector, we promote and support different forms of lived experience leadership.