What is it like to leave your country of origin and go to a strange, faraway land to find safety? How do you feel about your new city and what kind of welcome do you receive? How long does the label ‘refugee’ remain stamped on your identity? Do you choose to embrace it? When does Bristol really become home?
In this audio documentary against the backdrop of Bristol as a City of Sanctuary, Sam Sayer explores these questions with refugees who have settled in Bristol over the past 50 years from Ukraine, Iran, Kenya, Chile and Uganda share their early experiences of Bristol life.
The audio documentary begins with the newest of refugees, Diana and Jennie, who have recently arrived from Ukraine and are getting used to waking up to English voices. Adineh and Siavash from Iran have unexpectedly found new family here in Bristol to support them. JP from Kenya is a huge football fan and watching the game with others has become an important feature of his life. Luis and Carmen from Chile found lasting friendship through their children’s school, while Rashid from Uganda discovered home through his shop’s customers.
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'Ukrainians in Bristol' has nearly quadrupled in size since the Russian invasion. It started as a Facebook group but now acts as an information centre helping to bring over refugees and organise aid.