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One Day Without Us at The Stove

The Stove Network hosted One Day Without Us on Monday 20th February, which saw the people of Dumfries come together to celebrate the contribution that migrants make to the UK saw a huge turnout. One Day Without Us, which took place all over the UK, provided people with the opportunity to express their solidarity, and explore how migration has had a positive impact on both their own lives and the lives of the wider Dumfries and Galloway community.

Image credit: Galina Walls Photography

On Monday, thousands of migrants and their supporters took part in the National Day of Action to celebrate the vital role that migrants play within their own communities. There was a great turnout for the day, and many people and their families joined us at The Stove to share food, listen to music, watch short films, share a personal story and post messages of support on the walls.

Image credit: Galina Walls Photography

Emerging artists platform, Blueprint100, had the opportunity to coordinate and organise the event for The Stove. Blueprint100 Curatorial Team Member, Michael Moore, commented, “To me 1 Day Without Us was all about displaying our community’s strength through diversity, with people from different nations around the world living harmoniously together.”

Image credit: Galina Walls Photography

There was also opportunities for members of the public to share their own personal stories of how migration has changed their lives. Stories were shared on the walls of The Stove, and will be eventually collated into a zine. At 1pm, people across the nation joined together to show their support in a number of ways, by linking arms or holding hands. By encouraging people to share their stories and speak out, this event aimed to spread the message that migrants make a positive contribution to Dumfries and Galloway, enriching the fabric of everyday life in our town.


In Flight

Both birds and humans have migrated for millennia, whether seeking more abundant food, or more favourable climates. Some of these journeys are regular and temporary, others more permanent, perhaps due to catastrophe or dreams of a achieving a better life elsewhere.
Currently Europe is seeing a huge influx of migrants and –stoked by the vitriol of a malicious press and an ugly political mood – it’s becoming alarmingly commonplace to consider our fellow human beings as pests, no matter how urgent their need for shelter and security. Our individual and collective capacity to help them remains largely unfulfilled.
Perhaps it would be useful to imagine a scenario where we are the migrants – climate change predictions (irrespective of whether it’s a natural cycle or mans interference at the root cause) suggest there won’t be many decades before this becomes a reality. Arguably it already is, with people displaced from their homes from the increasingly damaging floods we experience in the UK.


In Flight itself depicts both birds and people; in the end we are the same, following evolutionary paths birthed in the stars. Fluttering on the wind, lit by the sun and moon, refreshed by the falling rains, the intermingling of the white birds and the people offers a prayer of peace and love to our family in need across the globe.
The location of the installation is an unused close in Dumfries and the first work will be to clean it, to prepare a welcoming space for the flock. Experimental and expressive, the artwork will only fully take shape upon completion.

In Flight will take place during our Chapter One event on Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th November, in a nearby close. For details of where to find the work drop into the Bakers Oven and ask for directions. Full details about Chapter One available here

In Flight has been created by artist and photographer Morag Paterson. More details about her work available here

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