Under One Sky for World Refugee Day 2020

An animated illustration of people standing on the globe as it rotates

Credit: Deveron Projects, illustrated by Jacques Coetzer

World Refugee Day

On the 20th of June 1951, the UN Refugee Convention was signed, providing protections to this particularly vulnerable group of people.

Since 2001, the date has been marked by World Refugee Day, with events happening around the world to both celebrate the achievements of refugees, and draw attention to the difficulties experienced by so many.

Under One Sky

One such activity is Deveron Projects' Slow Marathon 2020: Under One Sky.

Deveron Projects worked with Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede in 2012 to come up with Slow Marathon.

Slow Marathon is an annual walking event – Deveron Projects explain that:

“Celebrating the human pace, it is both an endurance event as well as a poetic act, that brings together friendship, physical activity and an appreciation of our varied landscape.  Before responding to the pandemic, this year’s Slow Marathon was initially planned for Saturday 13 June as a 26mile/42km walk from Cabrach to Huntly.”

This year, the project takes place virtually, encouraging participants from around the world to do a part of the marathon and contribute to the walk collectively and collaboratively.

Under One Sky is with artist Iman Tajik, a Glasgow based artist and photographer.

Originally from Iran, his personal experience of crossing borders has influenced his work significantly, which explores borders and freedom of movement.

Participants in this year’s Slow Marathon are encouraged to take a photo of the sky above as they walk. The photos will be gathered together, to demonstrate the core point and purpose of the work – that no matter where we are in the world, no matter who we are, our background, our race, our gender, we are all under one sky.

Take part

There are several events taking place that you can get involved with:

  • Deveron Projects' Friday Lunch event (1-2pm via Zoom) this week will hear from resident baker Kate Taylor Beale about the time she spent working with Refugee Kitchen Calais before coming to Huntly.
  • Tune in at 7pm on Friday 19 for a film screening of Transit Zone (Dir. Frederik Subei, 2015, 32 mins), an award-winning documentary exploring 'the jungle' camp of Calais, where up to 6,000 refugees reside while they seek a new life. There will be an opportunity to ask questions of Under One Sky project artist Iman Tajik, who collaborated on the film.
  • On Saturday 20 from 4pm, Iman will be live in conversation with Pinar Aksu, human rights activist and advocate for the campaign to End Child Immigration Detention.
  • Throughout World Refugee Day (Saturday) Deveron Projects are encouraging people to share a photo or drawing of a flower on social media as a symbol of welcome to refugees around the globe - using the hashtag #flowersofwelcome.

You can get involved on the Deveron Projects Slow Marathon 2020 website, and read the discussions on their global community Facebook group.

Find out more about World Refugee Day on the United Nations website.

This article was published on 18 Jun 2020