16 Jun 2019 / 12:00 to 18:00

Refugee Week 2019 Launch at the V&A

Following months of collaboration with the V&A Museum, we have co-curated a hugely exciting programme that is inspired by this year’s Refugee Week theme “You, Me and Those Who Came Before“. The programme includes a week of workshops, music, spoken word and interactive performances, starting with the launch on 16th June – details below. Join us and V&A to discover experiences of displacement that are found in our families, neighbourhoods and history.


Programme – 16th June


‘You, me and those who came before’ – Photography Commission, Main Entrance.

For this special commission for Refugee Week 2019, the distinguished photographer Jillian Edelstein created a stunning series of portraits that brings to light a hidden history of refugees enriching our culture and communities for generations.

A special tour of the V&A with artist Ania Bas and Daniela Nofal – 13:00, 14:30 and 16:00 from the Main Entrance

This unique tour of V&A is curated to combine an exploration of significant objects in the Museum’s Collections with performance and interactive moments from the below programme. Book early!

As Far as Isolation Goes, The john Madejski Garden

A performance by musician and street artist, Basel Zaraa, and live artist, Tania El Khoury, about the health experiences of refugees.

In this newly commissioned piece, Zaraa creates a song inspired by conversations with friends and colleagues who have recently claimed refuge in the UK.  It uses touch, sound and interactivity to bring the audience in contact with those faced with inhumane detention centres and a mental health system that disregards people’s political and emotional needs.

Selected workshops by Refugee Week partners – various locations 

Who came before you is a journey through the Refugee Council’s archive, through poetry and craft, and it’s been designed with the University of East London’s Paul Dudman and poet Sonia Quintero; Amnesty International’s What do we have in common‘ explores the history of Britain offering asylum to those seeking refugee with their large colourful map of family journeys; Migrant Help team invite you to create an object for their Time Capsule; ‘ International Organisation for Migration’s Hold on uses virtual reality to have us looking at the significance of holding on to objects and sharing them with the next generation (14 years +); Freedom From Torture return with their Write to Life creative writing group who will share stories in response to objects in the V&A collections.

20:20, by Salusbury World, The Globe 

Salusbury World is a unique and visionary school-based refugee charity in North West London, which over the past twenty years has supported refugee children and their families. They bring parts of their storytelling installation created in partnership with the London College of Communication Design School and its students.

80 Years On, It’s Our Turn, by Safe Passage, Gallery 47c, Level 0

The Video Installation highlights the parallels between the situation of child refugees fleeing Nazi persecution 80 years ago and those fleeing persecution today and the need to carry forward the Kindertransport legacy.

Drop-in Design: Under my Umbrella, by the V&A Families team, The john Madejski Garden

What objects from the Museum would you like to share with others? Make a parasol decorated with the objects that mean most to you.

Migrating Skills, by Shelanu: Women’s Craft Collective from Birmingham, Raphael, 48a, Level 0

What skills could you take with you if you had to start again in a new place? Make origami birds to carry the skills of ‘You, me and those who came before’, using your own experiences, family stories or the V&A collections as inspiration.

Play for Progress, Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Level 4, 12:00, 13:30 and 15:00

Join a workshop led by unaccompanied young refugees and asylum seekers working with Play for Progress, a London-based charity that delivers therapeutic and educational music programmes for children impacted by conflict. Explore your own possibilities in music and work with the team.

Shelter from the Storm, by The Scouts, Design Studio, The Sackler Center, Level 0, 12:00, 13:00 and 15:00

An immersive workshop for families, suitable for ages 6+.

Grounding Project, by artist Julie Nelson and the members of the Maudsley Charity’s Grounding Project with UCL, ceramics Studio, Gallery 143, Level 4, 12:00, 14:00 and 15:30. 

Create your own ceramic bird from clay, and have it form part of ‘Flock, a larger installation of migrating birds representing  individual journeys of hope. No previous experience necessary. Free, booking here

Berlin to Sarajevo, by Natasha Davis and Nehra Stella, Hochhauser Auditorium, The Sackler Centre, Level 1, 15:00 to 17:00

Documentary film connecting personal and political histories of Berlin and Sarajevo through poignant interviews with their citizens and poetic images of the two cities. Q&A with the artists.

16 Jun 2019
12:00 to 18:00


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