For migrants, integration is more than just learning how to speak English, getting indefinite leave to remain, or making friends in the UK. Integration is about achieving a balance between your native and British culture which does not create an identity crisis. It is having friends and a community. Therefore, we frequently of attend and support community events and collaborate with external projects and organisations. If you are running an event and would like us to attend, please contact.
On Friday 28th October 2022, we had the Umoja Exhibition at St Mary’s Guildhall. We performed a show about exploring unsung heroes in Black History and items in British Museums that are yet to be reunited with their countries. We performed poetry, spoken word, music, and dance. We also launched our Umoja exhibition went into further details about our unsung heroes.
Since 2021, Inini was elected to chair the Coventry Welcomes Refugee Week steering group. The steering group led on a celebration and information event on Saturday 25th June 2022 at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. Inini organised an open mic for this event. During refugee week, we collaborated with CARAG to produce a live session of their podcast “Still We Rise” which focuses on the experiences of migrants. We were also invited by Solihull Council to join their refugee week event.
During 2022, Inini worked with the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum to co-create an exhibition on the theme of healing. From the 7th to the 16th of May 2022, the collection was exhibited at the Herbert. Our collection contained over 30 individual pieces of art, including sculptures, paintings, drawings, and paintings.
In April 2022, Inini received funding from the University of Warwick as part of the Resonate Festival to deliver a culture share event and question and answer session. The show consisted of ten performances including a speech, spoken word and poetry, singing and dancing. The performances were in English, Shona and Ewe.
On Saturday the 23rd of October 2021, Inini and CARAG performed umoja, for unity in the community, at the Belgrade Theatre. The group performed original songs, spoken word and poetry. We were joined by Zimba reMabwa who performed traditional Zimbabwean music. Thank you to everyone who performed and to those who came to support us. Special thanks to the team at the Belgrade Theatre for helping us at every step of the way! Have a look at our Instagram account to see videos of the performance.
On Friday 15th and Saturday 16th of October 2021, the Walking Forest group walked around Coventry City Centre carrying a felled tree.
Olugbemi met them at Greyfriars Green to deliver a poem about Mother Nature which explored climate change and the damage that it is causing. In the afternoon, Last welcomed the group to Shelton Square, and talked to members of the public about climate change.
On Saturday 25th September 2021, Inini and CARAG joined Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre to celebrate refugee week. Performing Arts UK performed music and we danced along. We performed poetry and about our experiences. If you would like to see videos of the performance, please look at our Instagram page.
On Monday, 18th October 2021, Last went to Lisbon, Portugal for the 3rd European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants – Fostering social inclusion and enhancing the participation of refugees and migrants in host communities. It was led by the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID). The forum brought together religious leaders, academics, organisations that work with refugees and policymakers to establish and strengthen channels of communication, identify opportunities to support and cooperate, and develop recommendations for policy.
In November 2021, Last spoke on a panel at the Rising Forum: Local Promoters of Refugee Integration for Peaceful Coexistence. The Rising forum is a partnership between Coventry Cathedral, Coventry University and Coventry City Council. They focus on bringing communities, academics and policymakers together to discuss how local and international communities can work together towards peace and reconciliation. Picture credits: Migration Team CCC