June 15-21st this year was Refugee Week - a festival that celebrates the creativity and resilience of refugees. Salford Foyer shared their residents’ artistic talents by contributing to a virtual patchwork ‘Coronaquilt’ with artwork based on the theme ‘imagine’.
The colourful, imaginative artwork above was created by Shwan, who is originally from Iraq. The Foyer held some of its first group sessions after the easing of lockdown to enable young people to create their designs and contribute to the quilt - part of a project by EMTAS (Ethnic Minority Traveller Achievement Service) in the Salford area.
The idea behind the quilt was to find a creative way to bring people together while asking them to imagine something “beyond the current moment”. In the session, young people were asked to think of a time or a place where they were truly happy, to picture what their hometown might look like now, or to imagine how the world might look after Covid-19. The team said, “We were quite keen to get everyone involved so we emailed all the young people about the quilt and translated the information into Tigrinya, Arabic and Kurdish Sorani.”
“This was something we really wanted to get involved with especially as we have 17 young people here who are refugees. It was one of the first activities we had since coming out of lockdown.”
We love Shwan’s picture of two colourful birds making eyes at each other and we hope to see it on the virtual quilt soon!