A passion for bringing people together and sharing stories led two local writers to offer the workshops to the public during Refugee Week 2019.
Ligia Leboeuf, originally from Mozambique and local writer, Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian offered the writing workshops to explore the themes of displacement, refuge and welcome. Drawing on images and writing for inspiration, participants were then encouraged to write poems of their own.
Readings were given by refugee chef, Salah El Nagar, a writer from Egypt and Ligia Leboeuf, who is currently working on a novel based on her own experience of displacement.
The aim of the workshops was to forge greater cultural understanding, self-empowerment and expression, and community cohesion. Ellie McKinlay-Khojinian said: “Gia and I have experience teaching and working with community groups, particularly migrant and women’s groups. We also both love writing and care deeply about the work Refugee Week does to create positive discourse round refugees and migration in general.”
Due to the success of the workshops, further writing sessions will be offered in the autumn in Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
The venue was kindly provided for free by The Birdcage on West Pottergate.