Originally published on the One Journey Festival blog.
The mission of the One Journey Festival is simple: to amplify refugee voices and build enduring allies for refugees through cultural and technological tools. Last year, the 2018 festival gave more than 4,000 attendees a glimpse into the lives, hearts, and brains of refugees in the Washington DC area — and beyond. This year, we are thrilled to host the festival again and are looking forward to even more activities, attendees, and engagement.
The 2019 Festival, to be held on June 29th at the National Cathedral, is hosting more than 100 artists, speakers, local vendors, nonprofit organizations, and food trucks. The One Journey Festival is a chance for us all to connect, learn, and become enduring allies of those who are displaced. We’ve charted a movement to shed a positive light on refugees, and to take action on building welcoming communities for our displaced brothers and sisters. One way we’re making change is with Shared_Studios.
The Erbil_Portal in Harsham Camp for Internally-Displaced Persons, Iraq
Shared_Studios is a global public art initiative that aims to connect people to those that are different from them. Their Portals — essentially small, interactive experiences in the form of a trailer, bus, or inflatable room — connect visitors to other sides of the globe by transporting you into these different worlds. These Portals are built to make an impact: their purpose is to give people everywhere a chance to tell their own story; to explore the diversity of human experience; to connect people separated by distance and difference in encounters that are humanising and real.
At the One Journey Festival, attendees will step into Portals and be transported to Erbil, Lesbos, and Mexico. Stepping into a Portal, you will interact live with refugees that reside in those refugee camps and regions.
“It was an unforgettable conversation and experience. One that I didn’t know I’d be experiencing at the festival but I’m so thankful that I was able to step into a Portal. The family I met were normal people like you and I, that just wanted safety and happiness, and missed their hometown and home cooking. A family that hopes to continue on with their lives, moving on from the refugee camp to a new future.”
— 2018 One Journey Festival attendee
If you want to hop in a portal to Nairobi, drink coffee made by one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, browse goods from vendors who employ refugees and provide avenues for micro-enterprise entrepreneurs worldwide to sell their creations, watch performances by Grammy-nominated artists, or hear from powerful speakers like Emi Mahmoud, a poet and activist who won the 2015 Individual World Poetry Slam championship and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, JOIN US at the 2019 One Journey Festival!