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We Cannot Walk Alone

Thursday 17 June, 12.30pm
We Cannot Walk Alone
Presented as part of Refugee Week 2021

Following the success of UNITY Festival 2021 in March 2021 Claire Webster Saaremets and Kema Sikazwe welcomed audiences live via Zoom to take part in a free interactive journey of discovery to explore songs, stories, spoken word and soundscapes created by diverse communities in response to We Cannot Walk Alone the theme for Refugee Week 2021.

Audiences were guided along an animated map and met artists and communities as they shared the work they’d created and what it means to them. We Cannot Walk Alone included uplifting and thoughtful songs, films and stories and a chance to come together to understand refugee and lived experiences from across the globe that recognise the importance of humanity.

This was an opportunity to enjoy work created by Skimstone Arts’ Young Artist Collective and ECHO Artists, the Bosnian community in the North East of England, Friends of the Drop-In for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Sunderland, communities in Byker, the INSPIRE group in the West End of Newcastle, young people at The Bostey Community Centre in Walker as well as partners working with refugee communities from Libya, now in Accra, Ghana who have all worked with Skimstone Arts’ Associate Artists to co-create and devise new work which was shared as part of this special event.

We Cannot Walk Alone, which was broadcast simultaneously via Skimstone Radio, was presented as part of Refugee Week which took place from 14-20 June. This event was made possible with support from Arts Council England, Garfield Weston Foundation, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Newcastle City Council.

Listen to a podcast of We Cannot Walk Alone now.

After the work I am happy, I have a friendship, I’m happy to be here at this picnic.Emerging Artist with lived refugee experience

I had the opportunity to look at all of the artworks, and I think it represented what we are trying to do from so many different angles to the point where we raised some issues that we set out to explore, and it was very captivating, straight to the point, even if you don’t speak the language, when you watch it or listen to it you got the idea of what we were trying to accomplish. It was universal.Associate Artist

"The individual stories shared through the poetry, music, animation and film clearly defined a commonality between people in our hopes and lived experiences, which is so beautifully expressed in these works." Associate Artist
"Congratulations to the artists involved for producing compelling and personal work about such a tough, complicated subject. It’s a testament to their creativity and their capacity for imagination and empathy."

"The process used was designed to give voice to those who might otherwise feel rather marginalised, and the feedback indicated that people very much appreciated this. The process of creating songs, soundscapes and spoken word pieces also stretched people’s creative experiences. The work is very engaging and everyone who has listened to it has found it both challenging and inspiring." Partner organisation

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