Home and Belonging: Walk of Sanctuary

A short film made by Abraham Eiluorior with photographer and digi-film artist Aleksandra Dogramadzi

Home and Belonging: Walk of Sanctuary

Walk of Sanctuary, Abraham Eiluorior

Abraham Eiluorior is originally from Nigeria and is currently seeking asylum. He is an activist for Refugees and Asylum Seekers and an active campaigner with Beyond Borders for migrant welfare, rights and justice. He is an ardent volunteer and advocate, a Trustee and Advisory group founder-member of Crossings, an organization engaging and bringing together Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers through music. He is the Vice-Chair of Sunderland City of Sanctuary and also sits on the Management Committee of FODI, Friends of Drop-In, supporting Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Sunderland. Abraham is currently studying Law at Bradford University on the University’s Sanctuary Scholarship programme designed for Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

Abraham’s 14-mile coastal walk from Sunderland to North Tyneside is a symbolic homage to those seeking sanctuary in the UK and the long and dangerous journey people have had to make fleeing war and persecution. The last leg of the journey involved the crossing of the Tyne from South Shields to North Shields, recalling the plight of hundreds of thousands of people who have risked death and have died, crossing the Mediterranean to Europe from countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Libya.

Abraham’s ‘Walk of Sanctuary’, celebrates Sunderland as a City of Sanctuary. City of Sanctuary is “a UK-wide movement to build a culture of hospitality…welcome and inclusion” for people seeking refuge.

The walk of sanctuary also imbues the collective spirit of Sunderland and Abraham’s feeling of being a big part of the community and contributing to it. He steps out with the community to highlight the plight of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

The walk was also part of Refugee Week 2016, a nationwide programme of arts, crafts and cultural events celebrating the contribution of Refugees to the UK, encouraging a better understanding between communities.

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The Home & Belonging Short Digi-Films

Participants on the Home and Belonging project have collaborated with photographer Aleksandra Dogramadzi to develop their stories of personal experiences here in the North East.

In the digi-film workshops, participants explored the theme of ‘Home and Belonging’. Using their phones, they worked with the artist to co-produce their own stories; to sequence, script and choose locations for their digi-films. The stories cover a myriad of reasons ranging from persecution to war, for having to flee and/or be displaced from their countries, families, familiar surroundings and any sense of home and belonging they would have had themselves, prior to coming to the North East.

As a result, the participants have created digi-films, autobiographical snapshots capturing moments which caused dramatic upheaval in their lives but which is also part of the rich diversity of the migrant and also refugee and asylum seeking experience. Their stories present us with new encounters and challenges and changes our perceived identity of the ever-changing cultural landscape and contemporary social history of the North East.

Watch the other films