Refugees Across Spaces

With this programme, our aim is to:

Break the isolation of refugees and stimulate integration mechanisms in their surroundings and societies through culture and its expression.

Help refugees gain agency to actively contribute to their integration processes, improve their individual or group economies and in the process contribute to the growth of the host countries’ cultural sector.

Programme Background

Since the 1940’s Uganda has always been a gracious host to refugees. Currently, UNHCR estimates indicate that Uganda hosts 1.3million refugees from South Sudan, Congo, Burundi, Somalia and other African countries. Current information about the refugee situation in Uganda can be accessed through the Uganda Refugee Response portal.

Opportunities for interaction between refugees and host communities are limited, especially since refugee communities are usually separated from the rest. Out of this situation emerges the suspicion of the ”unknown other” contributing to tensions between refugees and host communities.

Programme action areas

We aim to develop the artist capacity and skills of refugees to ready them for the host’s cultural art scene and beyond. We do this through organizing mentor-ships, workshops and training in performance with focus on music, theater, movement, spoken word, and poetry.

With collaborations, we foster cross and inter cultural engagement among refugees, and between refugees and host communities, enhance communication and dialogue between refugees and their hosts, explore and create awareness of cultural connections between refugees and their hosts to influence positive narratives, improve artistic skills of refugee artists, spur artistic experimentation and creative joint learning.

Collaborations include artistic projects bringing refugee artists and their host community counterparts together, with special focus on budding and youthful talent.

Shared cultural spaces are aimed at fostering continued interaction between refugees and the host community. The spaces include physical artistic spaces and platforms for dialogue. The spaces are deliberately accessible for both refugees and the host communities to foster communication and continued engagement.

By engaging relevant stakeholders in the cultural sector, we contribute to the development of institutionalized channels refugees can use to access platforms in the creative economy of their hosts. Examples of such platforms are festivals, concert venues, media houses, exhibitions, fashion houses, galleries, etc. We also aid refugees’ access to these platforms where they showcase, share their stories, interact with members of their host community, access training opportunities and build networks outside camps and settlements.

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