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Takeover: Fashioning Heritage – storytelling, mapping, and building a more compassionate future with LCF

Saturday 24th June 2023 , 11:00am to 4:00pm

To mark this year’s Refugee Week, the Decolonising Fashion and Textiles team from London College of Fashion (LCF) are taking over our Bow Road site with a dazzling showcase of textile autobiographies hand-stitched by London-based refugees, workshops, and drop-in activities designed to bring local residents together around ideas of storytelling, community mapping, and imagining a more compassionate future. 
Project participants holding their textile autobiographies. Photo by JC Candanedo
Project participants holding their textile autobiographies. Photo by JC Candanedo

Immerse yourself into the vivid, colourful world of the textile autobiographies hand-stitched by London-based refugees taking part in the Decolonising Fashion and Textiles project led by Dr Francesco Mazzarella from London College of Fashion, UAL. Interwoven with personal tales of memory and lived experience, these textile autobiographies showcase the breadth of cultures, shifting identities, resilience, and sense of community embedded in the project. 

Some refugee project participants will also be present during the takeover, facilitating free, creative, family-friendly activities in our outdoor courtyard throughout the day, designed to explore storytelling, community mapping, and collectively imagining a more compassionate future. 

All materials are provided! Drop-in activities are open to children, families, and visitors of all ages. 

There will be a lunch break for the activity leads from 1-2pm. During this time you’re welcome to head to the gallery to see the Lucy Orta. Traces: Stories of Migration exhibition, grab a snack or a drink from the Nunnery Cafe, or hang out in the courtyard until activities start again at 2pm!

Alongside the drop in activities happening on the day, you can also book onto a free workshop running from 11am-1pm and again at 2-4pm with community textile artist Jasmine Karis, diving into documenting memories through a DIY photographic textile journal. Places are limited, so find out more and book onto one of the sessions here!

Free (Drop in event – no booking required!)

More about the Decolonising Fashion and Textiles Project 

Decolonising Fashion and Textiles is an AHRC-funded participatory action research project aimed to investigate and value the lived experiences of London-based refugees and asylum seekers in relation to the themes of cultural sustainability and community resilience. Through a reciprocal process of textile and fashion making, the project team and its participants are shifting narratives around refugees, mapping ways to build resilience within the local community, framing collective visions for a sustainable future, co-creating culturally significant fashion and textile artefacts, developing a social enterprise model, and outlining recommendations for positive policy change.   

Access information  

The Bow Arts Courtyard has step-free access throughout from street level, including to the accessible toilet, and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system. Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.  

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email nunnery@bowarts.com or call 020 8980 7774 (Ext. 3)  

Access requirements could include things like providing equipment, services or support (e.g. information in Easy Read, speech to text software, additional 1:1 support), adjusting workshop timings (e.g. more break times), adjustments to the event space (e.g. making sure you have a table near the entrance) or anything else you can think of!

Transport Information  

Opening hours: Mon-Friday, 9am to 5pm  
Address: Bow Arts Trust, 183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ  
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away.  
Bus: 205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area.  
Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.