‘Stories from Syria’ a series of events including the award winning film “Queens of Syria”
In conjunction with the ‘Cheltenham Welcomes Refugees’ group we are delighted to be hosting a series of events after Christmas and into the New Year.
We often forget that this, our annual feast of indulgences and excesses, originated out of a celebration for the birth of a child, born into a refugee family fleeing persecution. So what better time to remind ourselves that this is still happening to good people worldwide and focus on just a few Stories from Syria…
The Exhibition aims to give the people of Cheltenham, who are already brilliantly welcoming refugee families into our town, a flavour of the life and culture that so many have been forced to leave behind, featuring domestic artefacts as well as photographs, some of which describe the state of limbo in which many currently find themselves in Lebanon and Dunkirk. Exhibition opens from 28th-30th December and 3rd-6th January, 10am to 4pm daily.
We are screening the award winning documentary film “Queens of Syria” on Thursday 29th December at 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm for refreshments). Described as ‘powerfully recreating the ordeal of Syrian women through horrific personal testimony and heartbreaking nostalgia’, it tells the story of fifty women from Syria, forced into exile in Jordan, who came together to create and perform their own version of the Trojan Women, the timeless Ancient Greek tragedy about the plight of women in war.
On Wednesday 4th January, 2pm, we Welcome a Talk from Geraldine Cottrell, who will tell us about her recent work in the French refugee camps at Dunkirk and Calais, while posing the question “What is needed now?”. Our exhibition includes Geraldine’s photographs of the bulldozed camp at Calais and of the refugees who remain in the current camp at Dunkirk.
Our second screening is on Thursday 5th January, 7.30pm (doors open at 7pm) following a talk by a person who has had direct experience of working with orphaned children and bereaved families.
The film is “Not Who We Are”, which portrays the lives of five women as they struggle against life’s daily brutality in Lebanon and try to rebuild lives shattered by war. The film provides us with a glimpse into their daily hardships as well as their strength, resilience and survival instinct.
Also during the evening there will be an opportunity to sample Syrian hospitality with falafels and Arabic tea and coffee.