These are some of our core beliefs and values that guide our work and inform our decisions:
1. ART CAN INSPIRE SOCIAL CHANGE
We believe that arts can surprise and move and delight, but also that it can help us question and imagine ways of how we can live better together.
This is not to say that arts can or should act alone to resolve deep-seated social problems or policy challenges – be it integration, inequality or racism. But what art can do is provide a framework for people to meet and learn about others, hopefully deepening their ability to connect better with those who seem distant or different. And, in our case, helping enhance integration of refugees and migrants.
Every aspect of what we do is delivered in collaboration with partners from the arts and culture, advocacy, human rights, education and community fields from across the country, and increasingly internationally. This approach reflects our huge commitment to the politics of collaborative thinking and doing and enables us to reach well beyond what we as a small team can do alone.
3. REFUGEES AND MIGRANTS OFFER MULTIPLE COUNTERPOINTED PERSPECTIVES WHICH RESULT IN NEW WAYS OF SEEING AND QUESTIONING
Refugees and migrants make a hugely valuable contributions to our arts, culture and society. They have multiple (counterpointed) perspectives that often combine different languages, geographies and cultural perspectives, often resulting in new ways of seeing and questioning.
4. MIGRATION IS NOT A RECENT PHENOMENON
It has historic context and strong links to colonial histories. It’s been happening for ages folks!
5. NARRATIVES MUST SHOW MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES AS MORE THAN POOR VICTIMS OR THREATS TO SOCIETY
We support projects where refugee and migrants are represented through their own voices and where they are invited to contribute creatively rather than just as people with a heart-breaking story.
6. THERE IS POWER IN SIMPLE ACTS
The Simple Acts campaign is about inspiring people to use small, everyday actions to change perceptions of refugees. It sounds simple – and it is!
The philosophy of Simple Acts is that by encouraging lots of people to do these simple, seemingly insignificant acts – read a book, tell a story or share a dish – we can begin to remove barriers between communities and make lasting changes to the world around us.Thousands of people have taken part in Simple Acts since it was founded in 2009, particularly in schools and educational settings
7. REFUGEE AND MIGRANT COMMUNITIES BRING POTENTIAL TO THEIR LOCALITIES
Normalising the experiences of displacement and migration so that each cultural centre, arts institution, school, community centre, park, public space etc welcomes and recognizes the potential that refugee and migrant communities brings to their localities… And thinking that integration of refugees is a two way process that involves not only refugees and NGOs supporting them, but all of us.
8. ARTISTS WITH THE LIVED EXPERIENCE OF DISPLACEMENT AND MIGRATION NEED TO BE PAID FOR THEIR WORK
It’s not enough just to give them a platform.