This is Ramin, one of the most brave and inspiring people I’ve ever met. He’s an artist and musician, and in the 18 months since he’s been in the UK, he’s set up a small painting studio, played music in concerts around London, posed in an award-winning photograph, and starred in a theatrical show that has just won a national award. And, as a refugee from Iran, he’s done all this while living in a hotel in London, waiting for his asylum claim to be processed.
His latest achievement came when the show “There and Here” won Community Project of the Year at the Stage theatre awards. This show was put together by dance producer @LucaSilvestrini, using a cast of refugees. It brilliantly depicted life as a refugee and was staged at a London theatre last Spring. Ramin acted, sang and played an instrument in it, and received the award on behalf of the team. “Working together with people, that’s what I love.”
Ramin’s art is based on Persian calligraphy, though he also does Arabic, and is working on a hybrid of Western and East Asian letter forms. He creates it in his hotel room – which basically functions as his studio and is a modern-day artist’s garret – but he has done training workshops, performances and exhibitions all over London. His enthusiasm is so infectious – spend five minutes with him and he’ll have you try it out yourself.
If he gets leave to remain, he hopes to become an art teacher here, as he was in Iran before he fled after a dispute with the government over political and cultural activities.
He first went to Greece, but there he was subjected to horrendous racism and threats, so he crossed to the UK on a small boat last year.
“I like the UK because it lets me be free to make my art. In Iran, I was not free. And it is the most important thing to me.”
Ramin also volunteers with several charities, and is studying English and music in college. Last year he was in a picture of refugees in East London shot by the photographer @FrédéricAranda, and chosen to show the best of Britain to new arrivals at Heathrow Airport. We can’t imagine a better person for the job.
#Refugee #RefugeeArt #HelpRefugees #Art #Dance
Photography by Frédéric Aranda