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Tate Liverpool programme connects with refugees and asylum seekers through art to increase skills

3 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Tate Liverpool programme connects with refugees and asylum seekers through art to increase skills
Picture – Jake Ryan

Tate Liverpool is connecting local migrant communities to each other and the city-wide cultural offer, using Tate’s art collection as a learning resource.

Home from Home is a new skills development programme for refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants that aims to help them establish themselves in the city region.

The participants on a tour of Tate Liverpool
Picture – Jake Ryan

Working with partner organisations; Asylum Link, Sahir House, Many Hands One Heart and Merseycare, Crisis, City Hearts and British Red Cross Merseyside; the gallery has worked with 24 participants in a combination of online and socially distanced in-person workshops since the start of May. Participants are from across the city region, speaking a wide range of languages including Albanian, Arabic, Farsi, French, Kurdish, Spanish, Afrikaans and Urdu.
By increasing access to culture for migrant communities and removing traditional barriers, the new programme seeks to improve the confidence and self-esteem, language skills, visual literacy and knowledge of creative arts of participants. It also aims to reduce the isolation they encounter by widening their social infrastructure and networks as well as contributing to improved wellbeing.

During the first half of the Home from Home programme, participants have been exploring Tate’s international collection displays and exhibitions, identifying artworks in the gallery that resonate with them. Through creative exercises such as drawing, collage and stop motion animation, they acquire the tools to interpret the artworks, gaining confidence to speak fluently about their selected artwork and offering personal insights which often connect to their experiences. Field trips including to Tate Liverpool and Liverpool Biennial exhibitions have introduced them to the cultural life of the city.
The end of the Home from Home programme in July will see a celebratory event with participants acting as guides, delivering a public talk or recording responding to an artwork in their own language and English.

Alison Jones, Community Programme Manager, Tate Liverpool said:

‘Home from Home has been an important project for Tate Liverpool, connecting local migrant communities with the cultural life of the city and giving them a crucial foothold here. It also demonstrates the power of art to break down barriers and connect people across different cultural backgrounds.’

Picture – Jake Ryan

The Home from Home programme also includes a mentoring scheme, to support the professional development for five people who were practising artists in their home countries and were part of the project’s pilot scheme last year. The mentoring scheme has been developed to connect mentees with local artist groups and shows early success in upskilling participants with transferrable skills and supporting them as part of the creative community in Liverpool.
The Home from Home programme is supported by the Mayoral Inclusive Growth Fund.

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