Unleashing the power of the creative arts to promote deeper understanding of migration is the focus of Caritas’ Share the Journey Campaign for its Global Week of Action 2019.
The week will run from Sunday 29th September to Sunday 6th October, kicking off on the Vatican’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is being marked for the 105th time.
Caritas groups all around the world will host artistic events and activities for the Global Week of Action 2019, sparking a Global Wave of Action to follow over the next two years of the Share the Journey Campaign. Some will write poetry, publish books and video films while others have already been busy drawing and painting, creating theatre and puppet dramas, photography exhibitions and more.
There’s also a downloadable image of a collage created by Caritas comprising hundreds of faces, into which supporters can paste the images they choose and use in their campaigning. Pope Francis – a descendant of migrants – pasted in a picture of his parents’ wedding in Argentina, and Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, was creative with a photograph of his child migrant grandfather.
Cardinal Tagle said he found the experience very moving.
“When I held that small image of my grandfather – sent by his struggling family from China to the Philippines to escape poverty – and added him to the Caritas collage, I felt the huge emotion of the migration story. As humans we have migrated so many times together and I felt like I was connecting him to those many journeys. Even a simple artistic action like this is very powerful.”
Share the Journey was launched by Pope Francis in September 2017 as part of Caritas’ response to his vision of a “culture of encounter”, bringing migrants, refugees and host communities closer together to strengthen them, confront prejudice and to recognise our common humanity.
The Global Week of Action 2019 theme of artistic creativity focuses on something all humans have in common – be it painting, music, drama, writing or any other act of imaginative expression.
Caritas believes that these arts bring us together and open our hearts and minds and that creativity can do much to help us reconnect with each other as brothers and sisters. Advocating with the arts refutes myths and misunderstandings and makes us ask the question – who are we to each other?