The project addresses the problem of low awareness of the situation of refugee women and refugees or migrant women and migrants in Poland, as well as growing xenophobia. Official data on hate crimes is severely underestimated – according to Ombudsman Office, only 5 per cent of them are reported to the Police. Project promoter works on a daily basis with people of non-Polish origin, many of whom have experienced discrimination – on the street, in the workplace, online, often with the consent of their environment. Moreover, during the project, a humanitarian crisis broke out on the Polish-Belarusian border, which not only revealed state violence against people trying to cross the border, but also increased racist and anti-refugee sentiment.
The project created a space for sharing experiences and developed information and education materials on responding to bias-motivated violence. Four multicultural workshop groups took part in 60 workshops and rehearsals. Their work resulted in an interactive performance walk, which was presented on World Refugee Day. The joint work also resulted in a podcast – a total of 6 episodes, each devoted to a different topic, i.e. violence against migrants and migrant women, children, LGBT+ people, women and violence on the Polish-Belarusian border. For each episode, lesson plans were developed for working with young people and adults, which were tested in schools and cultural institutions. The project also provided legal consultations (36) for migrants and migrant women on issues related to legalising their stay, dealing with official matters and others.
The project has helped to empower the people participating in the workshops to tell their stories, exchange experiences and become supportive of each other. They also increased their competences in the area of recognising and responding to hate speech and bias-motivated violence. Migrants and migrant women received one-off real legal support in dealing with everyday problems. Thanks to the information and education tools, i.e. the podcast, the performance and the lesson scenarios, the issue of violence against migrants and migrant women and other social groups became more present in the public consciousness. The experiences of the workshop work were in turn incorporated into the recommendations developed for the City of Warsaw on working with migrant and refugee communities through the arts.