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PechaKucha Evening at the De La Warr Pavilion

PechaKucha Evening at the De La Warr Pavilion, co-curated with the Hastings Refugee Buddy Project, Tuesday 18th June 2019

In June, during Refugee Week, Hastings Buddy Project was invited by the wonderful De la Warr Pavilion art gallery in Bexhill to co-curate a PechaKucha evening – these evenings being a regular feature at the gallery to share and inspire with artistic ideas.

Our brief was for those among us who are part of the Buddy project and whose professional lives are based around artistic practice to reflect upon the ways in which their artistic practice informs their work with our new fellow citizens, and with issues and questions around the question of sanctuary and refuge.

We were briefed that: “PechaKucha Nights celebrate the art of concise speaking and require participants to show 20 slides for 20 seconds each and talk along to them for a total of just 6 minutes and 40 seconds.  At DLWP the audience capacity is 80 people, and the presentations are recorded to share with wider audiences online. We ask that all presentations focus on creativity and celebrate the creative class of our local area.”

Three of us from the Buddy project took part. In her presentation “From Hastings with Love”, the Buddy project’s Founder and Director Rossana Leal took the theme of photography and photographic portraiture as a way of revisiting and understanding one’s own past story, in her case, the story of a child forced to flee to a new, safer place.

Rossana (2nd left) arriving in UK

Buddy and film-maker Chloe White’s “From Jordan to Hastings”  shared and reflected upon her travels and meetings with refugees across the world, with glimpses of these themes in her documentaries, and her experience of being a buddy in Hastings; and Hastings Community of Sanctuary Chair and music educator Felicity Laurence shared her work on helping children from both afar and here in Hastings to explore though singing and song writing ideas of compassion, justice and what children themselves find to be right and important for all children. Here are our three presentations.

The evening was very well attended, and with three further presentations from others, all taking a central theme of migration and refuge, the evening provided a thoughtful and moving and nicely kaleidoscopic contribution to our common topic.

This is how I felt…


Ethiopian Children writing songs of their lives and thoughts