#LetsMakeWednesdays: A better world in Refugee Week

June 17, 2020

This week is Refugee Week. It celebrates the contributions, resilience and creativity of refugees. The theme of this year’s Refugee Week is ‘Imagine’. So let’s use our imaginations to create some inspiring creative works to help make our world a better place. Share your designs with us on social media using #LetsMakeWednesdays

Famous artist, Marc Chagall, was a refugee. He had to escape from his homeland as the government was persecuting him because of his religion. He was one of the most famous artists of his time, and made paintings, prints and fabric designs, like this one in the V&A collection

Furnishing fabric of screen-printed cotton by Marc Chagall, 1956. Mus. no. CIRC.435-1956 © Victoria and Albert Museum

Let’s make someone feel welcome

Sometimes a refugee has to go to a new country where they don’t understand the language. That can make people feel lonely and isolated. What would you design to make a new friend who doesn’t speak the same language as you feel welcome? It could be a sign, a toy, or a wholly new invention. For example, this toy was made out of recycled tin cans and wire by a boy who was a refugee in Botswana.

Boy Driving a Car, push along toy, 1990 – 4. Mus. no. B.95-1995 © Victoria and Albert Museum

Let’s make a family portrait

The wonderful thing about families is they are all different. Sometimes people live with their parents, or their grandparents. Sometimes families are made up of children who live with other carers. Think about your family. Start by writing down who you live with. Next write down people that are in your extended family. This could be aunts, uncles, close friends or grandparents. Next, make some sketches that represent the different members of your family. Maybe it could be an animal, their favourite food, or a game you play together. Now that you have all the members of your family, draw a picture that incorporates all of the sketches you made. This is a creative way to have a picture that represents all the members of your family together in one place, even if they live far away. And remember to include yourself in your drawing!

This photograph shows a man holding a small child. The man in this picture, Henry Samuels, was a refugee with his mother and two brothers.

Photograph, 1949. Mus. no. B.45-2014 © Victoria and Albert Museum

Let’s make a better world

Using the theme of this year’s Refugee Week ‘Imagine’, what could you design to make the world a better place for all people? When you are grown, what do you want the world to look like? What do you think you will need to do to help get there? Start by writing down your ideas. Next, think about what you could design to help get there. Draw a picture of your design and think about how this can help make the world a better place.

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