Refugees asked to share their stories for unique ‘MIDAIR’ art installation

Everyone has a story to tell, and to mark Refugee Week 2022, Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) and artists J.F.Jacques are asking local refugees to share their stories for a unique art project that will be displayed in St Paul’s church.

This year’s theme for Refugee Week (22 – 26 June) is Healing. This project acknowledges the trauma experienced by refugee migrants and the need to provide safe and caring communities to aid healing.

The installation intends to bring visibility to the experiences of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to enable connections with the larger community and create spaces of dialogue and creativity.     

Artist J.F. Jacques will be producing a piece called MIDAIR, which will be an art installation at St Paul’s Church in Bedford.

The aim is to engage with members of the local community who have migrated to Bedford and invite them to share photographs to tell their stories.

The photographs will then be used to create beautiful hanging mobiles in the church, sharing memories of their past or present.

This installation will be displayed alongside work by Ukrainian artists Sergei and Maria who have recently come to Bedford through the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, alongside contributions from other local organisations. 

Sergei and Maria have been running art workshops at The Arc on Howard Street and the shop has recently raised over £5,500 to support families in their hometown in Ukraine.

Read:   Bedford Indies rally together for fundraising raffle to support hometown of Ukrainian refugees

Ami Aubrey, BCA Programme Producer said: “This is a great opportunity for BCA to engage with local and refugee artists to create a thought-provoking space for those experiencing migration in any form.

“It’s a way of hearing their voices and sharing their stories through art and performance with the wider public. We feel that this is especially important due to recent global events and are extremely grateful for St Paul’s support.”   

Fr. Luke Larner, Assistant Curate at St Paul’s said: “I can’t wait to see how this co-created project unfolds.

“St. Paul’s Church has a long history of supporting refugees, and we continue to stand in that tradition of solidarity and welcome today.” 

 If you are a refugee migrant living in Bedford, or work with refugees, and would like to share your story and photographs to see them built into a mobile, please come and talk to our artist during Refugee Week at St Paul’s Church between 22 and 26 June.

BCA can copy photographs to ensure you can keep the originals.   

If you or your group have a story to share and want to get in touch, please contact info@bedfordcreativearts.org.uk or call on 01234 818670 or drop your contributions off at St Paul’s, which is open to the public 11:00am – 3:00pm Monday to Friday. 

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