In 2004, Fusion Arts worked with Asylum Welcome, an Oxford-based support service for young refugees and asylum seekers, to deliver free art classes to the Wednesday Club, a group of refugee children aged 5-13.
As well as using mixed media, such as video and digital photography, we explored traditional playground games and songs through movement and dance classes. These included a selection of British games: hopscotch, freeze-tag, and clapping songs. Participants were encouraged to share their own versions or new games and songs from their own culture.
Providing a regular safe place for the group to meet and engage with the arts in a structured way, the classes fostered cultural recognition, a sense of value and belonging within the community. Through providing experiences of meeting targets and achieving results, the classes also enhanced self-confidence and self-expression. The series culminated in a final presentation or performance by the participants for their carers and parents.