We’ve had a packed couple of months, with loads going on – we’ve been involved in lots of different activities both at our base in our stall in Kirkgate Market and at events around the city, some planned and some completely spontaneous and responsive.
We were delighted to be part of Bradford Refugee Week this year, taking part in the Refugee Festival at Bradford University on 4th June, where we ran an instant book workshop, and we met many fantastic, creative kids and young people who made books like these
We also took part in Bradford Refugee Week exhibition, ‘Welcome’, in June and produced a collective zine of the same name, containing reflections, writing and images in response to the theme, which was given out free as part of the exhibition.
We still have a few copies left- they are available via our online shop for £1 plus postage – all proceeds going to BIASAN ((Bradford Immigration & Asylum Support & Advice Network)
On 11th June we were delighted to help host an event called ‘Rubbish Ideas’ as part of the very first Bradford Open Source Economy Day organised by Bob Thorpe and Richard Dillon from Fairmondo, the UK’s first cooperatively owned ethical marketplace.
We watched a film about upcycling and talked about how we could start to imagine Bradford as a zero waste city. Julie brought in some sewing she is working on, making curtains from upcycled fabrics, and we shared ideas for how we can connect and use our energies and resources.Thanks to Richard and Bob for bringing such a great conversation to the space – these are ideas we will be thinking about and hoping to connect with people on in the future.
In the week running up to the EU referendum, we hosted an informal lunchtime discussion, with Bradford IWW trade union member and friend of Wur Altaf Arif. Many thanks to Altaf, and to our friend Lisa Cumming from Programme For a Peaceful City
co-hosted an event at Bradford University in the weeks before and who were generous enough to share their resources, information and time to help us explore the issues at Wur. It was a really valuable space to talk through our thoughts, and to try to understand the issues.
On June 25th, we hosted a writing workshop ‘Tales of Transformation’ as part of our Season of Change programme, with Bradford author Elizabeth Hopkinson.
Elizabeth, primarily a writer of fantasy fiction who has published in both short story and novel form, led us through a wonderful workshop where we generated ideas of change and transformation through storytelling. It was a very welcome space for us to be able to do explore ideas and thoughts through fiction at such a heightened time as the Brexit result just announced the day before. Many thanks to Elizabeth for facilitating such a sensitive and thoughtful workshop – it was so good.
We put together our second collective zine, on the theme of COMMUNITY, the following week in time for the Printing Communities exhibition event at South Square
We’re really proud of our zine, which contains stories and experiences and explorations on ideas of community via writing, drawing and collage, made by members and friends of Wur Bradford. Themes include Ramadan, Bradford City football team, the story of a community garden, reflections on post Brexit racism and strategies for surviving far right popular crises, and the power of smiling to feel connected to others. The zine is dedicated to the late Jo Cox MP, tragically murdered on 16th June, who said
“We are far more united and have far more in common that things that divide us”
Many thanks to all our friends in Bradford and beyond who took time to contribute. There are still copies available of the zine at our online shop for £1 plus postage.All proceeds go to Bradford Immigration & Asylum Support & Advice Network (BIASAN)
We were proud to be part of ‘Bradford Says Everyone Stays’ vigil on 13th July, which was initiated and organised by Bradford theatre maker Javaad Alipoor in response to concerns about post Brexit racism and attacks happening around the country. The vigil brought many people together in solidarity to show that our city of Bradford would not be divided and that we stand together against racism and for love. We hosted several drop in sessions at the stall to make banners and posters for the event.
Being able to be involved in the event gave us hope – we were inspired by the many people came down to help make banners, signs and posters and so happy to see these being part of the event, which brought 500 people together in a powerful statement of unity and solidarity with all our communities.
We leave July still processing all the tumultuous world and political events of the past months and feeling unsure what is ahead of us, but with an overriding feeling of pride and hope in our city, and with a sense of purpose to carry on with our part in it, by connecting people through creativity however and whenever we can.
Thank you to everyone who has contributed in so many different ways over the past couple of months – onwards and upwards!
Wur Bradford is generously supported by Bradford Council, Bradford Markets and Two28