When we speak in abstract or general terms, we create distance between ourselves and the world around us. With the growing prevalance of words like “refugee”, “crisis”, or “displaced” in the media and on social networking platforms the world over, it is increasingly common to encounter apathy for those who are suffering in our time. The question then becomes, how can we humanise the abstract?

Our answer: poetry and people. Using poetry as a medium, are putting together a special spoken word poetry event in February to introduce audiences to those stories of refugees that go unheard on a daily basis. The poetry and presentation will be done by the award winning Emi Mahmoud, someone who is steeped in talent and accolades – as the reigning 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, 2016 Woman of the World co-Champion and one of BBC’s 100 Most Inspirational Women of 2015.

Trauma has silenced many. Poetry teaches us that one voice can draw thousands – no one is ever alone in the quest to be heard. In understanding the power of voice, the struggle to maintain it, and how this informs the experiences we then let into our lives, we reverse the silence. Now, we reverse the silence of the refugee cause, embarking on a journey from Darfur to the modern ruins of Syria, to Greece and beyond. By walking together through the images that frame our existence, we’ll become familiar with “refugee” – the person.

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