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Dear <<First Name>>,

Here is your update on Stories in Transit, which includes likeminded projects, collaborators' activities, upcoming events and recommendations.

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Our co-organiser Valentina Castagna is representing Stories in Transit and Giocherenda in Madrid as part of the European Alliance of Academies' conference, 'The Power of Art'. The conference is taking place this Thursday-Friday (2-3 December) at Círculo de Bellas Artes de Madrid and includes a public programme of debates asking: How can we use the potential of artistic cooperation to transcend nationalistic cultural policy in Europe? and What influence do digital technologies have on our understanding of art and politics?

Valentina will be part of the project fair on Friday 3 December (with a short video from Marina), alongside other Pecha Kucha presentations, including 
EU4ART, which develops curricula in the field of painting, sculpture and graphic art that could serve as a model used for other universities and the Polish 
Residency Program of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), which aims to secure a place of refuge for writers and human rights defenders who cannot live and create freely in their own countries.

The focus of the conference is to 'analyse in more detail the potential of artistic cooperation, the different approaches to cultural policy in Europe and their influence on cultural institutions and thus on the freedom of art.' We are excited that, thanks to Valentina, both Giocherenda and Stories in Transit are part of this conversation, and the brilliant Giocherenda creations are going to be shared on this platform. See images (above) of children at Giocherenda's workshops playing with their Carte Acchiapparicordi (Memory-catcher Cards) and Cubi Contafiabe (Storytelling Dice).
Photo from our workshop in October with Stories & Supper, where together we made a song compiled of phrases and gestures of welcome. See a scan of some of the drawings and words below.
Stories & Supper news!

We coordinated two in-person workshops with Stories & Supper in October, which were joyful, foodie, musical occasions with around twenty participants and children. In both sessions, we created stories through song and collage, featuring a camel with a pyramid on his back, a lemon yellow donkey, edible offerings and greetings (fufu, tiramisu, cou-cou, drop scones, endless cups of tea). Sophie Herxheimer mentioned the sessions in her most recent
blogpost, including Debsey Wykes' ability to transform anything into a song. Sophie and Debsey took part in both workshops, bringing marvellous energy to the group who were generous, creative and full of musicality. We were joined by musicians and poets, including Maurice Nwokeji, who shared with us this film about his experience as a child refugee during the Biafran War.

Alongside their weekly workshops and group visits to their allotment, Stories & Supper have been working on a book - see below for more information. 
Stories & Supper are also hosting a supper club on Saturday 4th December at 7pm at The Sanctuary (Greenleaf Road Baptist Church, E17 6QQ). It’s their first supper club for two years - and first ever Latin American supper:

Expect a delicious three course meal (meat and vegetarian options) and a welcome drink, plus readings from our book. The menu will travel from Mexico and Venezuela, to Brazil and Chile, taking in Ecuador on the way. Supper ticket: £35 / Supper plus book: £45. 

Book to attend the Latin American Supper Club here!
Stories & Supper's book In the Morning Birds Were Singing is a collection of poetry and stories, fiction and non-fiction, photos and illustrations. This anthology challenges preconceptions about migration and the people who migrate, celebrating the creativity and resilience of refugees who are part of the Stories & Supper community. It is ultimately a book about hope.

Available to order here.
Collaborators Art Refuge have launched a raffle and fundraising exhibition, 'Wish You Were Here', which opens today! More than 150 artists from across the UK, Europe, and as far away as Australia, have generously agreed to donate a postcard-sized artwork (6x4 inches) that will be raffled to raise money for projects in northern France and the UK. Artworks so far received include some well known names - Grayson Perry, Jeremy Deller, Richard Deacon, David Tremlett, Eileen Cooper.

The exhibition is on view at Yorkton Workshops, Hackney, London, E2 8NH until Saturday December 4, 2021. Book your visit on their Eventbrite page here.

If you want the chance to win a postcard piece, you can enter the raffle
here. Raffle tickets are priced at 3-for-£100, or £40 per ticket and all proceeds will go to direct project delivery. 
The raffle closes at 8.00pm on the evening of December 4 and prizes will be announced via text.
Marina Warner will be joining the Kunst & velferd (Art & welfare) Conference, 9 December-10 December, online. Marina will share the methods of Stories in Transit and Giocherenda. In her presentation, ‘Words on the Move: Play, Imagination & Stories in Times of Dislocation and Conflict’, Marina will speak about the combination of visual arts, performance, puppetry, and gesture, to communicate stories that are freely invented and embroidered; the emphasis falls on imaginative and collaborative processes. Marina will also invite the audience to take part in these generative processes. Read more about the conference and book to attend here.
It may be another six months away, but plans for Refugee Week 2022 are beginning to formulate and grow. This Refugee Week, Counterpoints Arts are inviting people to explore the theme of ‘Healing’ - a celebration of community and mutual care:

Healing means recovering from a painful experience or situation, so that we can continue to live. No-one understands this better than those who have lost their homes and had to build new lives from scratch. We have much to learn from refugees about holding onto hope when going on seems impossible – as well as about how art, creativity and community can help us to heal.  Those going through the asylum system also know that healing is an ongoing process, made harder by poverty, housing difficulties and the threat of being detained or deported. Asking for change, so that refugees can truly feel safe, is an act of care. 

Whether it’s about looking after ourselves and each other at difficult times, overcoming political divisions or coming together to fight for the survival of our shared planet, healing matters to all of us. Whoever and wherever you are, we hope you’ll join us for Refugee Week 2022 to imagine a world where healing replaces harm, and care becomes our shared currency. 

Refugee Week is 20–26 June 2022, and anyone can get involved by holding or taking part in an event and activity. You can join the December Monthly Meet to hear from speakers and join the discussion exploring the theme. The meeting is tomorrow, Thursday 2 December 11am-12.30pm (GMT) - register to join the conversation

The terrible news of at least 27 people dying in the English channel last week will have reached all of you. We urge you to read Refugee Council's statement, which responds to this humanitarian disaster and outlines ways in which changes can be made to save lives from this danger. Daniel Trilling's piece for the Guardian, published yesterday, is also well worth a read. Please do look at Refugee Action's current campaigns, which includes their campaign to stop the Nationality and Borders Bill (re-named by Refugee Action as the 'Anti-Refugee Bill'). Alongside supporting many of the groups detailed in the newsletter above, there must be consistent and collective pressure on the Government to end the hostile environment - organisations such as Refugee Action are at the forefront of doing this.

Some additional recommendations...

There are a couple more days of the London Palestine Film Festival (until 3rd December) - have a browse through their
In addition, the Palestine Book Awards 2021 winners were announced a few days ago - read the results
here (and watch back here).

A short written piece on the radical power of play by Ruth Ben-Ghiat,
'Playtime: Keeping It Together When Things Fall Apart' - 'Play is voluntary activity undertaken with no material interest or profit in mind. Those who play step into a reality separate from ordinary life, with its own rules and order. [...] play brings us together in ways that autocrats find threatening.' 

Focal Point Gallery's exhibition 
Tip of the Iceberg is showing until Sunday 16 January. The exhibition explores 'explores how individual and collective action can have local impact to tackle some of the environmental problems we face, whilst also connecting to other national and international initiatives and debates.' Find out more on their website.

Friend and collaborator Marcia Farquhar launched her book, Pushing 60 at the Horse Hospital last month, to great acclaim (see Sophie's blogpost above!) - the book is available to purchase

If you know of any other exhibitions, events, talks, podcasts or workshops that you would like to share with the Stories in Transit community, please don't hesitate to email us (envelope icon below). We can add recommendations to our next newsletter, which we will be sharing at the beginning of next month...

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