Stories of Each Other: Do We Care?

On the eve of the European referendum, come and hear from writers, poets and newly arrived communities about the experience of leaving home and what happens when we arrive in a new place.

Hear stories from across decades and from all around the world as writers from Iraq to Sri Lanka, Ethiopia to Iran and many nations in between recount their experiences. Hear readings to uncover the reality for those fleeing conflict, poverty or terror. Listen to tales that build empathy, community and understanding. Join the read-a-thon with Marina LewyckaKamila Shamsie, Deborah Levy, Inua Ellams and Jan Krasnowolski, with many more, to understand the countless experiences of migration.

The evening will feature readings of fiction and poetry alongside spoken word performance, music and artwork. There will also be panel discussion chaired by Lucy Popescu, editor of A Country of Refuge. Lucy will be joined by novelist Sulaiman Addonia, novelist Jan Krasnowolski and Rita Chadha, Chief Executive Officer of Refugee & Migrant Forum of Essex and London – RAMFEL. The panel will ask ‘are artistic responses enough to influence the narrative on refugees and migrants in society?’

There will be books by all speakers on sale, guest sales of MPT‘s special edition ‘The Great Flight‘ and a sample of Free Word’s and Islington Libraries‘ book collection of ‘Stories From New Places‘, all available in Islington Libraries throughout Refugee Week and into July.

This event is part of Refugee Week 2016 and joins in with this year’s theme of ‘Welcome’. Join FWC’s audience as they ask whether stories can help rebuild the distance between each other.

We are delighted to welcome celebrated writers and poets including:

  • Alireza Abiz
  • Sulaiman Addonia
  • Sufiya Ahmed
  • Sita Bramachari
  • Rita Chadha
  • Inua Ellams
  • Jan Krasnowolski
  • Nineb Lamssu
  • Marina Lewycka
  • Deborah Levy
  • Selina Nwulu
  • Lucy Popescu
  • Minna Salami
  • Kamila Shamsie
  • Shash Trevett

To read more about each of the above speakers, click here.

All ticket proceeds from this fundraising event will go towards creative writing workshops at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

This event is supported by the European Union Europe for Citizens ProgrammeAllianz Cultural Foundation, Berlin and the Polish Cultural Institute London.

This event will be livestreamed. Click here to tune in to our YouTube livestream, which will begin at 6.00pm (BST) on Wednesday 22 June 2016. Our panel discussion will aim to start at 7.15pm (BST) and we’ll be asking for your questions! Join in the conversation by tweeting @FreeWordCentre using the hashtag #FWEurope.

Opening and performances by Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants choir

Read-a-thon by writers, poets and artists

Panel discussion: Is solidarity with each other in crisis, and can stories help us rebuild the distance between one another?

Q&A with readers, panelists and the audience

Final readings

Drinks and networking; a chance to buy books and sign up to campaigns

Event ends



Listen to the audio recording of the event:

Watch highlights of the readings:

Watch the panel discussion from the evening:

Watch the video of Amir Darwish, a spoken word artist, who performed his poem Where I come from, which you can read in full here:

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