When Julie asked us if we would be interested in putting on a performance of ‘Refugee Voices’ for Refugee Week, we were up for the challenge! Refugee Voices is a script telling the true stories of three asylum seekers or refugees who have lived in or passed through Bradford:
Michael, a Zimbabwean teacher and lecturer who came to the UK to take care of his sick daughter and then discovered it was unsafe to return home;
Jhora, a teenage Rohingyan girl, born in a Bangladesh refugee camp after her parents fled from Burma, and brought t
o the UK with her family under a UNHCR resettlement programme;William, member of an opposition political party in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who fled to the UK after he was beaten and put in prison and his brother was killed by government forces.
Normally, this script is performed by children in schools – how hard could it be? The answer was surprisingly so – and not only because some of us struggled with Left/Right or East/West directions… The stories we were telling were true – the people were real – the pain and
suffering they had experienced had to be imagined and therefore felt. It was an honour to be part of the retelling – as this was in their words, and a world away from the ‘stories’ we had been hearing via the media.