On 18 June 2016, Leicester is will be holding a Refugee Week celebration at the Town Hall Square. The event starts at 11am and runs till 4pm and will see people from all walks of life come together to celebrate the contributions refugees have made and are making to Leicester and Britain.
Alongside the getting together, the conversation, the art, poetry and music, artists are also going to set up an art installation in which they turn one gold and one silver emergency blanket into flags and fly them from makeshift posts at the square.
Journalist and writer, Ambrose Musiyiwa said: “The installation fits in with the theme of Refugee Week 2016 because the blankets are often the first welcome people receive after their journeys across the sea.
“We will be flying the gold and silver emergency blankets because these are the two colours emergency relief workers and volunteers give to people when they are rescued at sea or when they reach Europe’s shores.
“Through the installation we are also calling on governments in Europe to do more to ensure that the passage across the sea is made as safe as possible for people seeking refuge.”
The installation was inspired equally by: “Flag for No Nations”, a temporary installation by James Bridle that was set up at Ellinikón in Greece in January 2016; and by social media reports that Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, has ordered a space blanket to be flown as a flag, next to the Italian and Sicilian flags on the balcony of the Town Hall, as a symbol of welcome and solidarity with migrants: https://bit.ly/1WzF9CU
In Leicester, the emergency blankets will be flown from makeshift flag posts at the Town Hall Square.