Pan Intercultural Arts – Creative Expression For Refugees And Survivors of Trafficking and Human Slavery

The two Amies Choirs are joyous and therapeutic projects for female survivors of trafficking and human slavery. The power of singing together and creating together are wonderful ways of finding new strength and wellbeing to start their paths towards more positive futures. The Amies Freedom Choir works with those who may never have sung together before. The Amies Alumnae choir is public facing and performs for Anti-Slavery events, Women’s Empowerment Festivals and many more with music they have created from their many backgrounds.

Papillon is designed specifically for young Afghan women refugees who were flown into the UK in 2021 when the Taliban took power in Afghanistan. Since arriving they are housed in quasi-claustrophobic conditions of hotel rooms, often with whole families, and the young women have little chance to have a space to be free, creative and exploring their new lives. By giving them such a space, where hijabs can be discarded and physical and creative freedom can be encouraged, the Papillon women, including some young new mothers, can explore their new environment and imagine new futures.

Fortune is a weekly group for young adult asylum seekers, refugees and migrants trying to find their place in a new country. They have many languages, faiths and cultures and finding themselves in a pluralistic city like London can be bewildering. This group promotes bonding and respect, team building and reflection before creating a safe creative space where they can all bring their ideas, their aspirations or fears and embody them in stories, scenes, videos or monologues to share with their peers and then a wider public.

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Impact of Lifelines' Support

Lifelines is not a faceless, impersonal funder. It is like having a friend on the road, ready to back new ideas, to help in difficult times and to share our passions. Their funding allows us to reach vulnerable people and give them confidence in themselves, access to  creativity which has been reduced by trauma and imagination to see what they might become.

“Now I can speak out, now I can communicate, now I am not shy, now I trust myself” – these words from a recent participant say it better than we ever can.

Finally, the network is growing and we are meeting new groups, kindred spirits, and hopefully this will lead not just to mutual support but to exciting new ideas and projects.