For the Refugee Festival Scotland 2023, Sewing2gether All Nations curated our exhibition 'Paisley Conversations'; an artistic installation with audio visual elements, connecting Paisley buddies to their New Scots refugee neighbours in Renfrewshire.
Artist Razieh Sarafraz unveiled her Tree of Hope painting, handcrafted with 1,700 petals and 550 leaves. Over three days, over 100 guests (including Renfrewshire's Provost Lorraine Cameron) watched and listen to the conversations we gathered, sharing memories of Paisley past and hope for Paisley future.
"The thing that blows me away every single day, is the absolute kindness of the people" - Jacki Smart
Guests contributed to the conversation with 'answers on a postcard' - an opportunity to record answers to our key questions: What comes to mind when you think about Paisley? What has Paisley contributed to your life?
Do you have a funny or interesting story about Paisley?
"The biggest and most interesting opportunity for me to learn and grow as a person has been understanding when you hear that term ‘refugee’, what it kind of triggers in your mind has really changed, and thinking about these families coming, what skills and qualities they are bringing, the lifestyle that they are leaving behind, what a change they've had to make to protect their families and hopefully build a better life." - Jane Houston
This project is supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF)