In a busy community centre in Glasgow, ideas, colours, cloth and thread move fast, sewing machines whirring as many hands from many countries put the finishing touches to contemporary Balkans costumes which will form part of 1+1: Life and Love in Glasgow.
1+1: Life and Love will be launched in Glasgow on the 18th June as part of the programme of celebrations for Refugee week 2014, coordinated by the Scottish Refugee Council every year to celebrate the contribution of refugees to Scottish Life.
War and conflict in many parts of the world have seen people seek Sanctuary in Glasgow and have created strong connections and friendships. Refugees came to Glasgow from both Bosnia and Kosovo. Remzije Sherifi arrived in Glasgow with her family from Kosovo 15 years ago. She now supports asylum seekers and refugees from the many countries across the world who are making Glasgow their home. The Maryhill Integration Network offers a safe and social space were people have their experiences listened to and have opportunities to harness their skills and enthusiasm in projects alongside people from Glasgow, encouraging cross cultural understanding. Here as in the 1+1 exhibition process it starts with the simplest of human relationships, connecting, rebuilding community.
Maryhill Integration Network and the Albanian Scottish Association‘s International women’s group have celebrated Life and Love for this exhibition in contemporary costumes, fusing patterns, materials and inspiration from around the world.
‘I have come to appreciate my role as a museum professional in quietly, organically choreographing connections. Glasgow’s connection with 1+1: Life and Love goes back to 2010 when Diana Walters and Adisa Dzino inspired us with their presentation on heritage and peacebuilding in the Balkans at our conference “Out There”. The desire to connect with the diaspora community is something that stayed with me. It has taken 4 years but we will launch Life and Love on the 18th June in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum with a specially commissioned dance performance. I’ve got to know some wonderful women along the way.’ Chris Jamieson, Glasgow Life