Elaine Jackson attends CAFE Arts Events regularly and runs many educational groups surrounding history, culture and literature. Below is a personal account by Elaine Jackson about 2 events that CAFE Arts supported on Saturday 27th JanuaryPeace, Love, and Hope for Erdington
Peace, Love, and Hope for Erdington
It was good to hear about the Roosevelt Movement UK and to meet Elena Remegi, founder and co-author of ‘In Limbo – Our Brexit Testimonies’ at Erdington Welcome Centre on Saturday. It’s so important that the testimonies of people are recorded and discussed so that we can see the real impact of
Brexit on our communities – and by real I don’t mean just the economic impact but what is happening emotionally to those who live and work alongside us. They are our friends and neighbours. The extracts from the book made us feel ashamed that these incidents and attitudes exist in our country. We heard from people who had lived here for many years and contributed to our economy and culture only to be treated with contempt by the UK government and those who follow its lead. The phrase that I found most evocative is that many people feel ‘emotionally homeless’ because in reality, they belong here. It was also particularly moving to hear about those afraid to write their stories, fearing repercussions, and the differences encountered when trying to rent, take out a mortgage, or even open a bank account – things that most of us take for granted.
It’s even more poignant that we were at an event talking about Brexit shortly before the Holocaust Memorial that took place only a few metres away on the High Street. Later, we were privileged to listen to Mindu Hornick’s account of her experiences in Auschwitz.
I would hope that through Café Arts and other community groups in Erdington we can give a voice to those who are being silenced, abandoned or restricted and bring our community together through music, art, literature, and laughter – after all, it’s these basic qualities of humanity that ‘make the world go round’. The friendship, camaraderie and respect shown at both these events highlights the commitment and determination of Erdington people who, I’m sure, will continue to repeat the words: ‘Never Again’ and offer Peace, Love and Hope.