Arts Council England
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Blanket project takes women’s stories across the world

An intricate “Migration Blanket” created in Birmingham by refugee women from around the world, working together with a UK artist is set to unite communities in Italy during May.

Led by international artist and activist Salma Zulfiqar, the artwork was all made by women and many of whom took part have had tragic journeys. The women from Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Senegal, Somalia, Syria and Yemen were invited to recreate experiences on canvas during a series of workshops last year, as part of Salma’s educational Migration Project to promote understanding between refugee/migrant and host communities.

The exhibition, funded by Arts Council and National Lottery, opened at the Library of Birmingham on International Women’s Day 2018, and explores the struggles, strengths, hopes and dreams of women. Sharing these stories and universal messages with even more people, the piece is being shown in Venice’s Palazzo Bembo at the European Cultural Centre as part of the Venice Biennale from May to November this year.

Salma also ran an ARTconnects session in Venice on 12 May in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR, promoting cultural connections between refugees and the host communities.

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, recently said:

“Diversity and equality are crucial to the arts because they release the true potential of our nation's artistic talent, and we are proud to have supported Salma’s project promoting understanding and togetherness.

“Collaborative, community-based artworks like this offer us a valuable chance to creatively connect with each other and I look forward to seeing the impact of Salma’s work continue to unite people as it reaches new audiences around the world.”

Click here for the full press release


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