Collaborative Project: Finding 'Home' in Education

Image of female student drawing on a white board

“Imagine the UK as a big puzzle, where every piece tells the story of someone searching for safety and hope. In the workshop Finding Home, we, like puzzle pieces, found ourselves together, sharing the same dream of rebuilding our lives with courage and resilience. Finding where we fit seemed natural, it was incredibly moving to see how, through empathy and connections, we could lift each other up, share hope, create bonds finding a new family in the process. This experience was like discovering a new home through the journey of learning and coming together, where our diverse paths joined into a beautiful picture of belonging and new beginnings. It was like a puzzle coming together piece by piece making a beautiful picture, the same way the power of learning and education can create a place where we all feel we belong, no matter where we come from.” - Sanctuary Scholar from the University of East Anglia

A groundbreaking project, led by the University of East Anglia (UEA) Sanctuary Initiative and King’s College London Sanctuary Programme, united 17 students and academics from 9 UK universities with backgrounds of forced displacement to explore concepts around Home in higher education when seeking sanctuary.The project was developed in collaboration with the University of Warwick, the University of Essex, Oxford Brookes University, Bristol University, the University of Bath, the University of Cardiff, Newcastle University,Counterpoints Arts, the University of Sanctuary network, Student Action for Refugees (STAR), and the Open Learning Initiative (OLIve). 

The project drew upon the theme for Refugee Week 2024 of“Our Home” by exploring ideas of belonging and sanctuary in UK universities through a two-day participatory arts workshop held on the 3rd and 4th February at King’s College London and led by renowned artists Majid Adin and Dana Olarescu

A series of posters were created by the workshop attendees which explored their lived experiences of being forcibly displaced, and the role that higher education can play when on a journey in search of sanctuary. The posters powerfully illustrate concepts of loss alongside hope and the challenges of access to, alongside the life changing impacts of, higher education.

The posters will be exhibited across UK universities, art institutions, community organisations and schools from March 2024 and will be accompanied by a short film produced during the workshop by Red 7 Films.

This project was made possible through the generous support of the Necessity Network, Duolingo English Testand Oxford ELLT all of whom are committed advocates for education and social inclusion. Their support underscores the shared vision of promoting positive change through the arts and creativity.