Salma Zulfiqar, an international artist and peace activist, has been running workshops funded by Celebrating Sanctuary, with groups of ESOL students at South and City College.
Her latest workshop saw her at Handsworth campus, working with many refugees from Ethiopia, Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan. The task was to get the group thinking about what it means to belong to a community, to connect with the people and cultures that surround them.
Salma’s current creative projects, such as ARTconnects & The Migration Blanket, focus on empowering refugee and migrant women by promoting integration, working towards preventing hate crimes and extremism. Her artwork has been exhibited in London, Birmingham, Paris, Greece & Dubai and she has been celebrated as one of Birmingham's most inspirational women in the book Once Upon A Time in Birmingham - Women Who Dared to Dream.
Salma said of the workshop, “I like to use art and conversation to bring people together. We live in a world where hatred is increasing and my project aims to bring people closer together by creating better understanding of cultures through art; it can build bridges between communities.”
Supported Learning and ESOL lecturer, Pardeep Kairo added, “We have been so fortunate to have Salma work with our ESOL students here at Handsworth today. It has allowed students to creatively express what community means to them.”
Salma has also worked with students at Golden Hillock campus on a similar project, engaging with a local community of Bosnian refugees, which will culminate in artwork to be displayed at Bosnia House and at the college later this month.
For more information about ESOL courses, visit: https://www.sccb.ac.uk/courses/english-maths-esol
For information about Salma Zulfiqar, visit her website: http://www.salmazulfiqar.com/