Where We Meet: Resource and Good Practice Guide

Najma Abukar Farah Saleh Adam Kashmiry Pinar Aksu Paria Moazemi Goodarzi Francisco Llinas Casas Leena Nammari Tawona Sitholé Mousa Al Nana Iman Tajik Sawsan Al Areeqe Saber Bamatraf Zahra Saifey Barbara Byahurwa Khloud Ereksousi Samantha Maria Clare Robertson Lucas Chih-Peng Kao Midya Jan Zozan Yasar Soizig Carey Mia Gubbay Beulah Ezeugo

image: Scottish heather landscape photograph with ladder to star illustration

Where We Meet is a practical resource in care taking and hospitality in the arts and social practice. This new resource is a working document commissioned by Cross Borders, a Scottish Refugee Council project.

Where We Meet responds to the potential for artists, creative practitioners and arts organisations to co-create inclusive spaces for healing and belonging. There is an urgent need to co-develop spaces to examine inequalities and perceived social differences – to exchange values, perspectives and forms of knowledge that nurture the imagined alternative realities and futures that can lift us up and guide us through the divisions of modern borders and polarised political systems.

Artists with lived experience of displacement play a huge role in enriching Scotland’s cultural output. For communities – social activities and creative endeavours, build understanding and nurture diversity. For individuals – arts activities can provide a means of communication that overcome language barriers, build skills and confidence and create opportunities for friendships and shared endeavour.

At the same time, the professional worlds of ‘arts and culture’ in the UK have been shaped by oppressive systems; racist imperialist legacies, class, patriarchy, ableism and processes of commodification. Too often diversity is seen as something ‘out-there’ to be invited in – an objectified unit of difference, rather than something which is essential to human society and wellbeing.

Where We Meet is based on years of work in arts and community development, of coming together, to strengthen creative networks, and to collectively voice and share advice and learning around managing and addressing barriers in arts and cultural industries. In doing this we hope this resource can demystify some of the skills, processes and ethical considerations that contribute to modes of good practice within a growing, complex area.

Where We Meet should not be viewed as an exhaustive or definitive resource. We hope that it will provide fertile ground for artists/communities/collectives/creative initiatives to critique, adapt and change ideas within it as part of wider ecologies and more nuanced, self-led community power and support. For any feedback or suggestions, please get in touch.

You can access the resource here: Where We Meet

Thank you to all the artists who have been involved in the making of Where We Meet.

Interviewed artists – Najma Abukar/ Farah Saleh/ Adam Kashmiry/ Pinar Aksu.

Contributing artists – Paria Goodarzi/ Francisco Llinas Casa/ mandla rae/ Leena Nammari/ Tawona Sitholé/ Mousa Al Nana/ Iman Tajik/ Sawsan Al-reeqe/ Saber Bamatraf/ Zahra Saifey/ Barbara Byahurwa/ Khloud Ereksousi/ Samantha Maria/ Clare Robertson/ Lucas Chi Peng Kao/ Midya Jan Sulaiman/ Zozan Yasar/ Bella Hoogeveen/ Catrin Evans.

Thank you also to the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Edinburgh International Festival for generously providing space for focused symposiums.