The evening began with an introduction to refugee issues in Bristol from Councillor Ruth Pickersgill, MBE, followed by a short introduction to Bristol Refugee Rights and Pride without Borders from Tom Daly.
The audience was then invited to view the moving and insightful Rainbow Pilgrims exhibition, which documents LGBTQI+ oral histories of migration to the UK. The exhibition combines audio testimony, photographs and video to explore narratives relating to faith, sexuality, gender and ethnicity. As such, it was a perfect way to launch our conference, which discussed issues around creating a more inclusive history, uncovering ‘inaccessible’ memories, and working with local communities.
Everyone agreed that the exhibition was an innovative and engaging way to help us to discover uncovered stories, as their enthusiasm on Twitter shows!
— Charlotte Walmsley (@CharlotteWalms) June 8, 2018
Wicked @rainbowpilgrims oral history exhibition today put on by @MemoryStudiesSW @BristolUni including inspiring and tragic stories about refugees and asylum seekers caught up in our punitive asylum seeker system #wethepilgrims #memorySW @SWWDTP
— Aurora Moxon (@AuroraMoxon) June 7, 2018
It was great to explore the @rainbowpilgrims touring exhibition last night as we launched our 2018 conference. We’re ready for another fascinating day today! #memorysw #wethepilgrims pic.twitter.com/6GWHPxNQLD
— Memory Studies SW Research Cluster (@MemoryStudiesSW) June 8, 2018
We would like to thank Shaan Knan for bringing the Rainbow Pilgrims exhibition to Bristol. If you’d like to catch the exhibition elsewhere, have a look at the events page to see if it’s coming to a town near you!
Thanks are also due to Ruth Pickersgill and Tom Daly for providing a sobering but instructive introduction to issues relating to refugee rights in Bristol. It was great to hear some of our participants said they were inspired to get involved in community groups after hearing their talks.
We are also extremely grateful to the SWW DTP for funding the conference and its launch.