Photo by Fojit Sheikh Babu

Photo by Fojit Sheikh Babu

Following on from the success of Who are the New Boat People, Edge Hill’s Dr Tasleem Shakur is hosting another event on Monday 19th November to to demonstrate some of the lost voices of the Rohingya.

As part of the University’s Festival of Ideas earlier in the year, Dr Tasleem Shakur, Senior Lecturer in Geography, held an event titled Who are the New Boat People, which coincided with an exhibition from photojournalist Fojit Sheikh Babu, to a share unheard stories from Rohingya.

Reverb, a monthly interdisciplinary spoken word and open mic event held on campus, has invited a collection of artists from Edge Hill and beyond, to demonstrate some of the lost voices of the Rohingya. From transcribed folk songs, to translations of poems from the camps this will be a dynamic  evening of music, poetry, art, film and discussion.

Amnesty International describes the Rohingya as “one of the most persecuted minorities in the world”. They have fled from Myanmar to neighbouring Bangladesh, with almost 60 per cent of the refugees being children, who are all now being faced with deportation, even though they remain stateless, with uncertain futures. It has been observed that there has been very little awareness of this catastrophic human disaster in the Western world.

This will be the first in a series of events around the UK curated by Jessica Tillings, a Creative Writing graduate from Edge Hill, along with Dr Shakur.

“Rohingya refugees, particularly the women and children, need urgent and worldwide attention and support,” said Dr Shakur. “The Rohingyas are experiencing torture, rape and genocide and I wanted to help raise awareness of this to help alleviate this desperate situation.”

The event will bring together local and international artists with students and departments from across the University.

As well as a performance from Dr Shakur, there will also be performances from Dr James Byrne, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing, Dr Joaquín Cortés, Senior Lecturer in Geology, and students Victoria Jasmine, George Duffield, Naomi Horne, Shehzar Doja, Editor-in-Chief for The Luxembourg Review, International Musician and Composer Francisco Carrasco and local underground artist Emi Sibley.

Dr James Byrne said:

“The systematic violence enacted on the Rohingya people is barbaric. How long must the refugee camps last? Each month I phone up a poet I work with in the camps and he has told me me how important art is a vital source of hope among a people who remain stateless and traumatised. I am presently editing a feature on Rohingya poetry for Modern Poetry in Translation. Events like this one at Reverb are crucial in raising further awareness so action will be taken. Nobody in the modern world should live like this, not least the Rohingya after what they have been through fleeing the brutal hands of the Tatmadaw.”

Reverb 9: Raising the Voice of the Rohingya will be held at The Arts Centre on Monday 19th November at 7pm. The event is free and requires no booking.

For the full line-up and more information about this event please visit the Reverb website.

To learn more about the Rohingya and how to get involved, please visit: Friendship’s non-governmental organisation.