Counterpoints Arts

About Traces

Traces Project is the first digital timeline to tell the untold history of arts and culture contributions by people who have sought safety in the UK from conflict and persecution.

Traces tells this previously untold history through the prism of arts, culture and creativity. We believe that artists and practitioners who have sought safety from conflict and persecution have hugely contributed to everyday life in the UK, enhancing a national sense of collective wellbeing.

The definition of arts and culture throughout this timeline is inclusive and multidisciplinary, allowing for an array of art forms, mediums, activities and imaginations. Some of the artists and creative practitioners featured are already household names and established figures. Others are mid-way through careers whilst others are emerging and hungry to communicate new talent.

We encourage you to explore the many diverse stories and creative visions that populate Traces. Each entry carries with it a unique story interweaving artistic aspiration and achievement with a multi-layered history of movement and cultural displacement. Stories are shaped by specific descriptions of the contexts and histories from whence individuals have fled or departed, together with summaries of UK asylum and immigration policies on arrival.

Traces is not a fully representative digital timeline, but will continue to evolve with your input and participation. To this end, the timeline is designed to accommodate a robust social engagement and education programme. Our shared aim is to have this timeline reach and include diverse audiences in schools, communities and other public and private settings.

– Counterpoints Arts

Help us make Traces a thriving, living archive.

Produced by Counterpoints Arts, with support from UNHCR.

Research, content and strategy by Mary Mitchell, learning resources by Jess Linton and web development by Chris Robson. Additional research by Ershad Islam, as part of SOAS placement partnership with Counterpoints Arts.


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