A collective textile banner, produced during workshops commissioned by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council’s Good Relations team, is now on display in Flowerfield Arts Centre and will be available to view for the next month.
The piece draws on the theme of UK Refugee Week ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’ which continues until June 20th .
Workshop participants created arpillera dolls and were invited to extend their hand to someone outside of their current circle with a different experience to their own.
Curator Roberta Bacic from Conflict Textiles said: "At a time when there are almost 26 million refugees globally, we welcomed this opportunity to engage with refugees and the wider community through this hands-on, interactive workshop programme. The collective banner - the outcome from the six workshops - is a very practical demonstration of the theme of this year’s Refugee Week.”
Later this year, the banner created in Causeway Coast and Glens will travel to the Platforma Festival in Yorkshire to be part of the Conflict Textiles artist-in-residence programme ‘Suitcases: Telling Textile Travels’. It will be displayed alongside similar creations from Germany, Argentina and Catalonia. This festival for the arts by, with and about refugees is produced by Counterpoints Arts.
In addition, a Small Worlds Café was held for young people in partnership with the Education Authority Youth Voice group and Roe Valley Residents Association. This provided an opportunity to meet local individuals who come from other parts of the world and learn about their experiences and backgrounds.
Welcoming both initiatives, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Richard Holmes, commented: “We want our communities to be welcoming places of mutual respect where people feel safe, valued and know that they can depend upon one another. The past year has certainly shown us that we cannot walk alone and I am proud of the sense of community spirit that we have witnessed here and in other projects.”
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Good Relations Officer Bebhinn McKinley added: “We were overwhelmed with the interest and in addition to the collective banner, young people from Roe Valley Residents Association, using cardboard silhouettes, used materials to personalise their dolls and respond to the Refugee Week theme.
It highlighted to them the importance of reaching out the hand of friendship to someone who may be different. Sincere thanks to all those who contributed including Limavady Hen’s Shed, Roe Valley Residents Association, Threads of Culture group and other individuals across the Borough.”
The collective textile banner will be available for community groups and organisations to display at their own premises later in the year, while a further Small Worlds Café for adults is planned for September. To find out more and register your interest email [email protected].
These projects received support from The Executive Office through the Together: Building a United Community Strategy, District Council Good Relations Programme.