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Guest post by Museum of London

After the steep learning curve of delivering digital events for last year’s Refugee Week we are pleased to be able to offer a number of live events this year. The Museum of London will be hosting two walks and a panel discussion/book launch, inspired by the theme ‘We cannot walk alone’.

Our first walk is centred on what many consider the first refugees of London, the Huguenots. Our Blue Badge Guide, Neil Sinclair will guide ticket-holders through the streets of Spitalfields and crevices of Clerkenwell where the Huguenots made their mark through craftsmanship on Saturday 19 June. It will be a chance to learn about the significant impact they had on the historical City of London, and how that impact has continued throughout history. The walk will end at the Museum of London, where one of our curators will talk about the Huguenot silk we hold in our collection as well as examples of watches and other items crafted by Huguenot hands.

Our second walk on Saturday 26 June, ‘Seeking a home: wandering Dalston’, will be focused on the lives of contemporary refugees and how they have found snippets of home in the metropolis of London. The walk has been developed in partnership with Living London, whose founder Saira Niazi is committed to creating adventure, enquiry and partnerships with those she meets on her wanderings. Led by colleague and friend Tamer Aljasem, a Syrian refugee who made an appearance in our ‘City of refugees: in conversation’ video last year (still available to watch on our website), the walk will take participants on a wander through the streets of Dalston; discovering and sharing stories of refugees and exploring hidden gems. This wandering will include opportunities to share stories or document your wandering through words or photography.

Our third and final event will occur at the Museum of London on Thursday 17 June and will be a book launch and panel discussion around the role museums have and should play within engaging refugee communities. This will also be the book launch for ‘Museums, Refugees and Communities’ by Museum of London’s Curator and author Domenico Sergi, who will also be chairing the discussion.

Domenico will be joined by Emily Miller from the Migration Museum, and Salma Jreige, coordinator of the Multaka: Treffpunkt Museum project.

The event will be hosted at the Museum of London at our London Wall site and will have social distancing measures in place in order to keep our audience and staff safe. We will also be livestreaming the event for those that aren’t able to make it to the museum on the night.

Celebrating the contributions made by refugees throughout London’s history is something the Museum of London is proud to be part of. Although Refugee Week is only once a year we are constantly striving to tell those stories of communities and cultures that have helped mould this city into one worth celebrating. We look forward to welcoming all visitors back to the Museum of London when we reopen on Wednesday 19 May: please book your free tickets through our website or call our Box Office.

Find out more about our Refugee Week programme here.

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