Share My Table: refugees and local Scots gather to share food and stories

pic by Iman Tajik

Refugees and local Scots will gather together to share food and stories at Tramway in Glasgow as part of a new arts project led by Scottish Refugee Council.

Share My Table uses food from around the world as a starting point for conversations about belonging and welcome, as new and established Scots get to know each other while sharing a multicultural meal.

Coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council and supported by Creative Scotland and Tramway and the Hidden Gardens, the project launches in the midst of the world’s worst refugee crisis, with more people than ever before forced to flee their homes in search of protection from violence and human rights abuses.

Share my Table will work with a group of refugees and local Scots over the next twelve months. Using visual art, performance and storytelling, the group will prepare for an exhibition and performance, in which members of the public will be invited to participate, at Tramway next year. 

Suzi Maciver, Arts Officer at Scottish Refugee Council said:

“Refugees are never far from the news. Harrowing scenes of families packed into unsafe boats, desperately seeking shelter from conflict and violence have become commonplace.But news reports of a global crisis don’t always tell the personal stories of people forced to flee their homes. How do people come to terms with such extreme experiences of loss and displacement? How do families find the strength to rebuild their lives in a foreign country?  

As more people seek safety in Scotland it's more important than ever for us to get to know each other as neighbours, colleagues and friends, and to recognise that all our unique experiences and contributions combine to make Scotland such a vibrant place to live.

Sharing a meal is a great way to get to know each other and realise that we often have more in common than the news headlines suggest. It is also a great chance to try some of the delicious recipes that refugees bring to Scotland.”

Councillor Archie Graham, OBE, Chair of Glasgow Life, said:

“Tramway is a vibrant, welcoming venue where ideas and experiences are shared, and where different viewpoints and cultures come together, to enrich individual lives and our community. Share My Table will bring valuable, important opportunities to explore and learn, to challenge discrimination and embrace diversity.”

Maggie Maxwell, Head of Equalities & Diversity, Creative Scotland, said:

“Share My Table celebrates diversity, removes barriers and connects New Scots refugees with local Scots through the development and delivery of high quality performances and installation at Tramway as part of the Refugee Festival Scotland in 2017. The workshops and performances will create the starting point for cultural sharing and conversations that will deliver personal, societal and cultural benefits to everyone involved, and support the integration of these New Scots as artists in Scotland.”

Share My Table is coordinated by Scottish Refugee Council and supported by Creative Scotland and Tramway and the Hidden Gardens.