The University of Hull is staging a series of thought-provoking and uplifting events for Refugee Week this month that will unite our communities and raise awareness of the plight of thousands of people around the world displaced by conflict, persecution or natural disasters.
As a University of Sanctuary, Hull already offers scholarship places to asylum seeker students, and between June 14 and 23 will mark the national awareness week with talks, workshops, a concert and a community football match.
Among the highlights is a free evening of projected images and stories to mark the start of Refugee Week. “Rohingya… between two worlds” takes place in Middleton Hall on June 17 from 6.30pm and features talks and photographs by humanitarian photographer Rebecca Robyns and University of Hull Professor Yasmin Merali, who is a refugee.
Hull-born Rebecca is a self-taught photographer who has worked throughout Southeast Asia with a range of NGOs who work together to improve the lives of women and children. She will present images from her 2018 visit to Balukhali Camp, Cox's Bazar, together with stories from survivor refugees that paint a stark, sobering account of their traumatic journey from Rakhine state, Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Yasmin Merali began her life in the UK in a refugee camp in 1972, as a consequence of Idi Amin’s mass expulsion of British Asians from Uganda.
Another key event is the Stories of Sanctuary concert taking place in the Donald Roy Theatre on June 23 at 4pm, featuring songs of courage and hope from refugees seeking sanctuary in the UK.
Primarily featuring Syrian refugees, the Stories of Sanctuary choir perform songs, stories and poetry about their experiences and their hopes for the future, many of which were written by the choir members themselves in a series of songwriting workshops in the summer of 2018.