For 2019 Refugee Week, Dingy Butterflies was invited by The Comfrey Project to create a project for their refugee week open day event. The theme this year was ‘You, me and those who came before‘. Participants were encouraged to explore ideas around traditions and customs, what the words mean and how customs and beliefs connect to families, neighbourhoods and the history of Gateshead, the North East and beyond.
We explored how traditions and customs can be cultural, national, personal, local, belief based and ceremonial. Something that strangers do together or something that is shared between two or even only one person. Done daily, weekly, monthly or annually and take place at the same time or vary. A tradition can be shared in a neighbourhood, citywide, nationally or worldwide and come from may traditions and nationalities, either recent or from generations past.
The sessions at the Comfrey Project explored the various traditions people have, where they come from, how they started, how they connect to the present and how they will be continued. We asked what the connections and similarities are that show a commonality and what traditions they would like to revive or start themselves? What traditions can we start as a community to understand the various places we come from and where we want to be in the future?
For the Refugee open day, working with the group, we displayed the bunting they had created across the room and invited visitors to add traditions and customs to the world map.