The Project was part of the BBC Novels that Shaped Our World project. Initially, Libraries Connected in collaboration with BBC Arts put a call out for libraries to engage with communities who were not traditional library users and to deliver a programme of innovative activities for those communities.
The invitation for proposals went out in October 2019, 39 library authorities were successful in their funding bid, including Newham and commissioned artists, creatives and local partners to curate a series of events at marginalised groups, including refugees, young people at risk of knife crime, prisoners and adults with dementia. The programme, funded by Arts Council England included an extensive series of arts and cultural events across the year led by public libraries as part of The Novels That Shaped Our World festival.
Newham Libraries as part of this project, worked with a group of young refugees and with one refugee family in particular on a series of visual art and stop frame digital animation workshops. The video is a culmination of the work created by the family and a snapshot of their story in coming to England and finding the sanctuary of the library. A final event with authors and activists Onjali Rauf, also a Newham resident and consultant for the project and Sita Brahamachari will take place on 30th September 2021 6.30pm, Stratford library. The event and video will be used to increase awareness of the plight of refugees and to raise awareness of libraries as places of sanctuary.