"HELPING PEOPLE TO BREATHE"



As we approach the end of this extraordinary year 2020, we share with you some reflections on the intent of the work of Art Refuge from Dr Ravi Kohli, our Chair of Trustees. Professor of Child Welfare at University of Bedfordshire, Ravi is interested in what becomes of young people who seek asylum in richer countries and how they adapt throughout their migration and resettlement. He writes:


"We are committed to bringing our work to people who are refugees living in fragile and fractured environments. Our intent is to create moments together where we can focus on their talents and creativities. In a way, this is simply about helping people to breathe, to learn to be in step with their whole selves, not just their narrowed circumstances of seeking sanctuary somewhere. And we are reminded that the phrase “I can’t breathe” resonates everywhere. It is located in George Floyd’s dying words and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in the USA. It is connected to COVID-19, and people’s worries about the virus constricting the breath of life. Climate change and other ecological threats are also woven into worries about future generations not being able to breathe. And in the past, “I can’t breathe” emerges from the gas chambers of the holocaust to the drowning of slaves in the Atlantic crossings. So our work seeks to connect the past, the present, the future. It is built on an action that is natural and profound. It is aimed at justice. The right to breathe, and to carry on living."


To support our ongoing work into 2021 as we continue to support refugees on either side of the English Channel, please donate here: https://www.artrefuge.org.uk/donate


And thank you for your incredible support in 2020!


Photos taken in Folkestone, Kent, looking out across the Channel towards France, Winter 2020

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