Readings For World Refugee Day


Damian Barr’s Literary Salon tempts the world’s best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests include Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Yaa Gyasi, Mary Beard, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières—all in front of a live audience at leading glamorous locations world-wide. Our London home is the Savoy. Suave Salonnière Damian Barr is your host.

Right now, there are, according to the UNHCR, at least 25.9 million refugees in the world—the most ever recorded. Every single one of these people has a past and present. Every single one of these people deserves a future. Every single one of these people has a story and some of these feature in a bold new anthology called Imagine and Salon is sharing some of them in a special episode of our podcast.

The Imagine Anthology is a publishing collaboration between Counterpoints Arts and Visual Editions. It features poems, stories and essays from diverse voices including Edmund du Waal, Himesh Patel, Dina Nayeri and Rupi Kaurand. It’s part of Refugee Week, a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. The authors have been asked to explore one thing they would most like to change about humanity’s future, to consider “making the invisible visible”. Themes address global issues such as open borders, hunger, power and shame, as well as reflecting on how our everyday lives—taekwondo, beekeeping or a front door key—have the potential to be life-changing. Each piece is distinct but collectively they show how we are united in difference. As Erica Wagner says in her powerful introduction each piece is “speaking out for change and speaking up for hope.”


To listen to the rest of the episode, as well as the whole archive of Damian Barr’s Literary Salon, subscribe and listen on iTunes or wherever else you find your favorite podcasts.

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