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Waving Hello

Here is the wonderful 'Waving Hello' song written by Arne Richards and Isabel Isabel Knowland and sung by The Jericho Singers one of the choirs involved in the project.

Thousands of paper boats were made by friends, supporters and community groups for the project. In this video, Isabel shows how to make them.

WAVING HELLO was a project to celebrate diversity and to recognise the importance of trade and travel in the history of Western art, in particular as it is reflected in the collection at the Ashmolean. In doing so we set out to challenge preconceived notions about refugees and asylum seekers, exploring our common humanity in a creative and interdisciplinary way. The project involved music, storytelling, poetry and visual arts and was delivered in collaboration with the education officer at the Ashmolean. The focus was on journeys - life journeys, physical journeys, storytelling through objects, the creation of written pieces that became songs, poems and performed pieces. It was very important that the finished ‘products’ were inspired by the people taking part, many of whom spend their time as refugees/immigrants being “done to”. Our intention was to create and guide a process within which the participants had the opportunity not only to give voice to their stories but also to shape the outcomes.

This was an intergenerational project bringing together refugees and asylum seekers, primary and secondary school groups. Key to developing an understanding of what it means to leave home and the concepts of asylum and refuge was the involvement of people who have actually made this journey, whether they are still awaiting decisions of their final destinations (those at Campsfield), were in Oxford still attempting to find a permanent home (Crisis/Big Issue) or had already found a home of some kind in Oxford.

The final, public event was held in Bonn Square in central Oxford on 25th June 2017. 

The project was generously funded by the Patsy Wood Trust.