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Waving Hello

The following video shows Isabel Knowland, the inspiration behind Waving Hello, talking to Scott Morgan of That’s Oxfordshire.

WAVING HELLO is to celebrate diversity and to recognise the importance of trade and travel in the history of Western art, in particular as it is reflected in the collection at the Ashmolean. In doing so we will challenge preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers, exploring our common humanity in a creative and interdisciplinary way. The project will involve music, storytelling and/or poetry and visual arts and will be in collaboration with the education officer at the Ashmolean. The focus is likely to be on journeys - life journeys, physical journeys, storytelling through objects, the creation of written pieces that may become songs or performed pieces. It is very important that the finished ‘products’ and what they might be are inspired by the people taking part, many of whom spend their time as refugees/immigrants being “done to”. Our intention is to create and guide a process within which the participants have the opportunity not only to give voice to their stories but also shape the outcomes.

This will be an intergenerational project bringing together refugees and asylum seekers, primary and secondary school groups. Key to developing an understanding of what it means to leave home and the concepts of asylum and refuge is the involvement of people who have actually made this journey, whether they are still awaiting decisions of their final destinations (those at Campsfield), are in Oxford still attempting to find a permanent home (Crisis/Big Issue) or have already found a home of some kind in Oxford.

We will be hosting a final, public event in central Oxford in June 2017. Please follow us on Facebook and our blog for more details.

The project is funded by the Patsy Wood Trust.