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Refugee Arts Networks

This project brought together five international refugee arts networks to discuss new ways of cooperation, art-making and support alongside discussing political agency and identity politics.

What are the strategies and challenges faced by refugee artists today? How can networks foster systemic change? How can we develop new frameworks driven by artistic vision created by refugee artists?

This event was the result of a year-long conversation and collaboration between Community Arts North West (CAN) , the Drama Department at the University of Manchester, and New Tides Platform.

The curated panel brought together refugee artists advocacy networks to discuss new models for resilient creative networks, featuring grassroots organisations from the UK,France, Germany and Portugal. We reached out to communities of artists, scholars, cultural workers and policymakers, aiming to increase visibility and opportunities for refugee artists and groups, to share experiences and practices across geographic and cultural settings.

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Alison Jeffers (University of Manchester), Stella Barnes (Community Arts North West) and some of the participants online

The hybrid event facilitated an open debate on the role of networks in advocating change on various artistic and institutional levels, aiming to build alliances across research and the creative sector within and outside the UK.

This project was supported by a Social Responsibility Award from the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester

I thought the debate was very balanced and inclusive and it was interesting also to hear experiences from artists outside the UK (Lara Parmiani, artistic director, LegalAliens Theatre, London)


Gaining insight into a community of practicing artists has been very useful (Judith Conyers, teacher, Kingston upon Thames)


The work that you do is very important, not only to address inequalities in the cultural sector, but to tackle social and economic inequalities as well (Carolina Triana Cuellar, academic, University of Sussex)


AMAZING afternoon!I look forward to staying in touch with this brilliant network! (Jonathan Man, outreach coordinator, University of Essex)

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