Emmanuel Anuforo is the founder of Lampstand Art, which launches this Saturday 17th August from 3pm at Kinning Park Complex.

With speakers including MP Alison Thewliss and Scottish Refugee Council’s Gary Christie, and a stellar lineup of musicians including Alieu, King Halifa and Sean Focus, this is not an afternoon to be missed.

We spoke to Emmanuel to find out more about the launch and his hopes for the future of Lampstand Art:

Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m the founder of Lampstand Art, and before this I was one of the co-founders of LGBT Unity in 2014. I have been volunteering with other groups too, including Scottish Refugee Council, the City Mission, Unity Centre and Equalities Network, who I represent here in Glasgow, helping to organise events, speaking at Pride. As a refugee here in Glasgow, I realise that I have more to offer to society, to friends, to the refugee community because I have been there myself. I was homeless for 5 months, life was not easy, but with the help of the community I got through that. Now there is a lot of work to be done. If I can use this platform to bring people together, that would be a dream come true. I aim to be there for others: I can’t pay the community back with cash, but I can bring people together.

So what is Lampstand Art?

With Lampstand Art, I believe that, no matter who you are, if we come together we can build ideas that will change society for the better. Our mission is to help communities to be better integrated by engaging young people of various backgrounds in Music and Arts. We will provide a platform where the talents of young people can be discovered and promoted. In the future, we hope to run a mental health programme, to support people experiencing isolation and trauma through music and art.

I’ve been working on this for a long time, lots of sleepless nights but I’m enjoying it too! Since I first got here I’ve wanted to do something good here, to leave a legacy. If I could change just one person’s life through Lampstand Art, I will feel I have achieved something. I would like to thank Scottish Refugee Council for their support and guidance.

Tell us about the launch event on Saturday.

We have musicians, DJs and dancers performing from Zimbabwe, Nigeria, the Congo, the Gambia. Saturday’s event is a place where people will come and express themselves, have fun, network, ask questions. It is a place where you can be yourself and have freedom. It is a playground.

We will also have drinks, t-shirts and badges for sale, free food, and a raffle.

Feel free to come along. This platform is always open for new ideas – no man is an island, I can’t do this alone. Come in, give me a call, ask how we can work together. I am open.

If people would like to offer financial support to keep the project going that would be appreciated hugely too, we can’t do this alone. Feel free to come along on Saturday, or visit our website to find out how you can contact us.

Thanks Emmanuel, and good luck for Saturday, we’re looking forward to it!

Lampstand Art launch event is FREE and takes place at Kinning Park Complex, 43 Cornwall St, Kinning Park, Glasgow, G41 1BA from 3-8pm. All welcome.

Chris Pettigrew
Author: Chris Pettigrew