We are excited to launch Where We Meet, our good practice guide for arts organisations and artists with lived experience of displacement.

This new resource is a working document commissioned by Cross Borders, a Scottish Refugee Council project. It responds to the potential for artists, creative practitioners and arts organisations to co-create inclusive spaces for healing and belonging.

You can access the resource here: Where We Meet


There is an urgent need to co-develop spaces to examine inequalities and perceived social differences – to exchange values, perspectives and forms of knowledge that nurture the imagined alternative realities and futures that can lift us up and guide us through the divisions of modern borders and polarised political systems.

Scottish Refugee Council has a long-standing history of working with artists, activists and creatives from refugee backgrounds. We also work in partnership with arts, culture and heritage organisations, from grassroots groups to larger national institutions.

Artists with lived experience of displacement play a huge role in enriching Scotland’s cultural output.

For communities – social activities and creative endeavours build understanding and nurture diversity. For individuals – arts activities can provide a means of communication that overcome language barriers, build skills and confidence, and create opportunities for friendships and shared endeavour.

At the same time, the professional worlds of ‘arts and culture’ in the UK have been shaped by oppressive systems; racist imperialist legacies, class, patriarchy, ableism and processes of commodification. Too often diversity is seen as something ‘out-there’ to be invited in – an objectified unit of difference, rather than something which is essential to human society and wellbeing.

Where We Meet: a good practice guide

Where We Meet is based on years of work in arts and community development, of coming together, to strengthen creative networks, and to collectively voice and share advice and learning around managing and addressing barriers in arts and cultural industries.

We hope this resource can demystify some of the skills, processes and ethical considerations that contribute to modes of good practice within a growing, complex area.

Where We Meet should not be viewed as an exhaustive or definitive resource. We hope that it will provide fertile ground for artists/communities/collectives/creative initiatives to critique, adapt and change ideas within it as part of wider ecologies and more nuanced, self-led community power and support.

For any feedback or suggestions, please get in touch.

You can access the resource here: Where We Meet


Thank you to all the artists who have been involved in the making of Where We Meet.

Interviewed artists – Najma Abukar/ Farah Saleh/ Adam Kashmiry/ Pinar Aksu.

Contributing artists – Paria Goodarzi/ Francisco Llinas Casa/ mandla rae/ Leena Nammari/ Tawona Sitholé/ Mousa Al Nana/ Iman Tajik/ Sawsan Al-reeqe/ Saber Bamatraf/ Zahra Saifey/ Barbara Byahurwa/ Khloud Ereksousi/ Samantha Maria/ Clare Robertson/ Lucas Chi Peng Kao/ Midya Sulaiman/ Zozan Yasar/ Bella Hoogeveen/ Catrin Evans.

Thank you also to the Centre for Contemporary Arts and Edinburgh International Festival for generously providing space for focused symposiums.


About Cross Borders

Cross Borders is a programme of arts and cultural activism projects led by Scottish Refugee Council. These projects include mentoring, commissions and collaborations with artists, activists and creative practitioners from refugee and other migrant backgrounds in Scotland. We advocate for the rights, care and protection of artists and activists whilst facilitating connections, support, exchange and artistic activity.

Find out more at cross-borders.org.

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah