Create Without Borders

By Niels Bekkema
Niels Bekkema's stories

We promote and celebrate the work of creatives with lived experience of forced migration by collaboratively creating digital and physical spaces that their showcase work

What we do We work with people with lived experience of forced migration to make spaces centred on the voices and creative works of refugees. Sometimes these are physical spaces, such as markets and live events. Sometimes they’re digital, such as galleries and online events. What they have in common is the celebration of migration as a creative force – bringing moments of collaboration, inspiration and joy to the wider London community.

This means promoting the work of refugee creatives to raise their profile and support the sale of their work, as well as actively creating opportunities for participation (and payment) by commissioning work for events and partner organisations.

We also collaborate with refugee artists to identify barriers to creative practice and provide financial support to overcome these via our creative fund.

Finally, we counter negative narrative on migration by raising recognition of the skills, expertise and experiences of refugees, and highlighting the way cultural exchange develops and enriches community life.

Who we are We’re a volunteer led non-profit organisation based in Lewisham, London (UK). We’re proud to be based in an area that celebrates diversity and migration and support Lewisham’s intention to be recognised as a Borough of Sanctuary.

Most of our physical events are held locally or in the wider London area, but we’re happy to collaborate with organisations across Europe.

We collaborate with refugee creatives wherever they are currently situated – as it is the temporal nature of the circumstances in which they find themselves that often acts as a barrier to participation.

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1 March, 2022