Lucia Cortelli, who has been volunteering at the Horniman for the past year, shares a few thoughts on our Refugee Week event.

On Saturday 20 of June the Horniman hosted a day of events and activities to mark Refugee Week. This is a UK- wide event that celebrates the important contributions refugees make to their host communities.

We offered a varied programme including live performances as well as outdoor activities organised by local community groups working with refugees and asylum seekers.

Streatham Women’s Sewing Group and Southwark Day centre for Asylum Seekers have been collaborating with the museum for a while and were present on the day to showcase their work at the Horniman.

Refugee week at the Horniman Museum and Gardens

The aromatic spice tent

Streatham Women’s Sewing Group had sewn a tent that was set up in the garden where visitors could smell spices from all over the world and try to guess what they were. By the tent children and adults could play with some giant outdoor games provided by the Lewisham Refugee and Migrant Network.

Speaking to some of the lawyers working with LRMN, they said they were happy to be at the Horniman to counter that prejudice in a space where they could promote their work and celebrate refugees’ contribution to the community.

Refugee week at the Horniman Museum and Gardens

A buzzing atmosphere in Gallery Square

In Gallery Square, Free Writers also performed. They are a group of young people from different cultural backgrounds who have been developing their creative writing skills with Rewrite charity. After they had shared their stories and poems, the Lahing Kayumanggi Dance Group enchanted the audience performing dances from the Philippines.

Overall Refugee Week at the Horniman was a day of celebration and an opportunity for local community groups, refugees and asylum seekers to bring the world to Forest Hill.

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