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Theatre of Sanctuary Network Gathering – 12th February 2021

Theatre of Sanctuary Network Gathering – 12th February 2021

The first Theatre of Sanctuary Network Gathering this year (2021) took place on Friday 12th February and brought together over 30 arts practitioners from theatres, theatre companies and other arts organisations across the City of Sanctuary Arts Stream.

We spent the 1hr15min gathering sharing some of the events arts organisations within the network have been involved with for Refugee Week’s Slow Conference, which is a series of free online workshops exploring arts and culture for change ahead of Refugee Week 2021.

We then had a brilliant set of contributions from Displace Yourself Theatre who have been running a series of creative filmmaking workshops called ‘Shared Voices’, within City of Sanctuary’s Connect & Create programme. Mike and Jen introduced us to artist Jane (see below) who has been a regular attendee at the Shared Voices sessions and who has creatively responded to the theme of Connect & Create with abstract paintings as well as Mahmoud who shared a poem titled ‘Ode to the Voice of Hope’ (see poem below).

Jen, Mike and Jane (left to right) sharing their experiences of Connect & Create

We also spent some time reflecting on how arts organisations might respond to the upcoming ‘Celebrating Sanctuary‘ week of events in April (19 – 25st April), whether tailoring existing activities towards the theme of celebrating sanctuary or working with local City of Sanctuary groups to help share stories of welcome.

If you’re visiting this page and would like to find out more about the Theatre of Sanctuary Network, which is open to all arts organisations (such as theatres, theatre companies, visual artists or festival curators, or other) please visit the City of Sanctuary Arts Stream website.

Ode to the Voice of Hope

Tossed, turned and entangled in the widest maze of uncertainty Could this be the wrong path I choose? 

Mind blank as a whistle 

Even the most motivating voice in my head cannot solve this puzzle My mind so depressed, it could not save me from this struggle The world so small, all doors are closing on me 

Staggering in the wilderness, stumble and fall on my back 

Looking at the other side of life, there’s this one door I see Hope! hope! hope! 

Arms wide open, embraced me with thy coolest voice of hope 

In midst of this darkness, he brightened my mind’s eye with thy calmest  voice of hope 

The sun will shine again he calls out to me 

Bounced back on my feet, 

Depression, entanglement, darkness and uncertainty now seem easy to  defeat 

With the atomic energy of hope! hope! hope! 

Written by Mamoud N 

From the Voices of Hope Project with Displace Yourself Theatre