The students at Ruskin Mill have a student council that takes on various responsibilities at the college. They are aged 16-19. Last week they launched, what I thought, was a very effective campaign to highlight the plight of refugees and Britain’s stance on them, (which has been very slow and reluctant). The campaign actually started about a month ago, just advertising the showing of the film, Paddington Bear, a much loved childhood icon in British Society, with the main purpose to raise funds for Refugees. Everyone just assumed it was something for entertainment, and posters were put up advertising it.
However, on the night it was to be shown, which was the night before guy Fawkes, some pamphlets were placed on the tables and posters stuck up on the walls at lunchtime, with this story of Paddington bear , together with other posters highlighting the refugee crisis in Europe.
My photos are not very good, as they were taken in haste and dark surroundings and through glass, (and probably a couple of greasy fingers on my lense) but you can get the drift. Well for me it certainly changed the way I saw Paddington Bear and refugees.It started everyone talking about Britains stance on refugees, which at the moment nobody talks about, and it is avoided in the news.
The surprise , and the contradictory elements of using what is essentially a child’s story close to many British hearts, was very effective. On the night of the show, they handed out Paddington bear masks and served marmalade sandwiches.
To keep the memory, there is a child’s stuffed Paddington bear that looks forlornly out of the canteen window, as if reminding you daily of his plight and those of the refugees.