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Updated: May 6, 2022

On Tuesday we returned to a recently initiated interagency drop-in service at Kings Cross for asylum seeking men housed at a nearby Home Office facility. Here we share reflections from The Community Table in this setting:

‘It felt like a morning of things somehow fitting together while coming from different places: those fasting for Ramadan, and those celebrating orthodox Easter. Food either being eaten or being offered for taking to break the Ramadan fast after sunset. People too, having met somewhere else, at a different time, meeting again. How powerful are the phone images of those especially remembered people and places remaining elsewhere and just out of reach of a common verbal language.

Creative materials and equipment whose simplicity belied their abundantly significant use: a typewriter, paper bead making, Giotto plasticine, postcards, wool and shiny crochet hooks.

A man from Sudan wanted to make a circle and learned to crochet, creating a small circle of double crochet (increasing every other stitch), with sky blue wool. Another could dispense with the hook and make a chain of finger crochet from orange wool. The simplicity and versatility that can be crochet, pulling loops through loops. Necessary repetitions that add soothing rhythms to life: on a typewriter, typing letters that might become words, poems, African wisdoms, or previous office work memories. Rolling pressing and shaping plasticine that might become a dinosaur, a lamb, a beef steak. Rolling strips of paper images that become beads, that have the possibility of being thread on to wool and crochet.'

Words by FB, with Josie Carter and Bobby Lloyd

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