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5E Text

Dr Mohannad was born in Damascus in 1972. One of five brothers and sisters from a middleclass family, his father was a teacher and all the children went to university. After military service he completed his training as a doctor with a six years basic qualification and four years specialising in Rehabilitation Medicine, working with people with disabilities. Trained to help both children and adults, he set up a private clinic in Damascus.

By the time civil war broke out in Syria he was married with three small children; a daughter and two sons. Initially they thought the fighting would last a few days, but it became clear that both their house in suburban Damascus and the nearby clinic were in insecure areas. He rented another clinic in the centre of Damascus. After about a month they woke at home one morning to hear shouting, crashing noises and the fire of automatic weapons. They grabbed their identity papers, leaving everything else, and fled to the rented clinic. Mohannad went back to his house after a week to feed his pet rabbits; it was in a war zone, the streets taken over by rebels and snipers. He invited others to stay alongside the family in the new clinic, and at one point up to 40 people were crammed into small quarters, which had only two bedrooms.

In 2014, after two years of living in hostage conditions, he decided to flee, travelling alone out of Syria. Understandably reluctant to talk about this illegal journey, it took him overland through Turkey and then to the UK. He emphasises that the worst aspect for him, as a practicing Muslim and a doctor, was the need to consistently lie about his identity when he crossed the border of some of the countries he went through on his journey to the UK. He knows many people who died in their attempts to escape, including two fellow doctors and their families who drowned in the Mediterranean. Another doctor was killed by a sniper whilst trying to help a wounded child.

On arrival in England Mohannad applied for asylum, which was granted. He experienced the system as kind and understanding. He was given approximately £35.00 per week, the standard living allowance, and a room in a hostel. Once given leave to remain, he focussed on getting his wife and children out. In 2015 they left war-torn Syria and travelled through Lebanon and Egypt to Britain. After some months more, the reunited family came to Leicester. They now live in a modest, privately rented house with a small garden, where they again keep rabbits and grow vegetables.

There were many challenges along the way, but Mohannad insists the family were only met with help and understanding, particularly from his English landlord and his English teacher. They all had to learn English. His children learned quickly and were settled into schools. His wife learned English, and now helps others to learn Arabic. Mohannad faced the Herculean task of becoming a British doctor. Unlike my grandfather, his training and expertise was not recognised in its own right. In 2015 he started work as a healthcare assistant. In 2019  he passed his English exams and his first medical exams. He is currently preparing for his final exam. His ambition is to become a GP, providing a service which he realises is greatly needed in Britain.

When Mohannad reflects on Syria and the situation there, he is desperately sad. ‘No one could have imagined what has happened there, it was not a poor country’. He knows he cannot return as it is unsafe, and he does not know when he will see his wider family again. The photos he gave me and that I have made into this print are the only images he has of his former life, everything else is lost. A devout Muslim, he walks the 20 minutes to mosque, where he says there is no racism and that he is met with kindness. He says ‘it is all a test’; God is testing his patience, and the Koran teaches him to be patient and happy and not feel sorrow. Leicester, he says, has been welcoming. He wants to ‘give back’ and is considering applying for British citizenship. His children support the Fearless Foxes.

5F Text

Trevor Thomas’s life was ruined by his arrest for ‘ public indecency’ in 1946, and his summary dismissal from his post was ruined by his arrest in 1946 on a charge of public indecency, his subsequent court appearance and his instant dismissal from his post as Director of Leicester Museums. His subsequent work in the mid 1970’s for the Campaign for Homosexual Equality was too late to make any real difference to the course of his life. It was however the precursor for the actions of many that have shaped attitudes towards LGBTQ+ people.

The legal position was similar for Leicester playwright Joe Orton (commemorative plaque, centre left), who was murdered by his lover just before the 1967 Act (which started the changes) came into force. The law has now changed beyond all recognition in Britain, and LGBTQ+ status is increasingly accepted in all areas, and at all levels, and protected by law. Bernard Greaves (centre) also grew up during the time of repressive laws against homosexuality. His life has been committed to both the Liberal Party and the campaign for gay rights. A founder of the Leicester LGBT Centre, Bernard is a remarkable role model for younger people and a champion of diversity. His long history of civic and managerial services to charities was recently recognised with an honorary degree from the University of Leicester.

Although there is a wide spectrum of views in the Anglican community, the Church of England does not allow gay marriage. This is a challenging position for the openly gay Dean of Leicester Cathedral, David Monteith (top centre), who lives in civil partnership with his long-term partner David Hamilton.

Laura Millward (top right) is Chair of the Leicestershire Police LGBT Network, which supports and trains the police on LGBT issues. With openness and enthusiasm about her own position and her task, Laura acknowledges that the UK Police Service still has some way to go, particularly at higher levels in the force. She was inspired to join the police by the career of Stephanie Morgan, the now retired Deputy Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police, who was in her time the most senior openly gay officer in Britain.

David Rose (centre right) is Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at De Montfort University. David recently came out as bisexual for the first time in over 30 years of work. He sees this aspect of his work as a role model to support staff and students to feel comfortable with themselves, to reduce prejudice and educate about bisexuality.

Leicestershire-born Charlotte Stacey (bottom right) is an openly transgender emergency planning officer, working in the historically male dominated emergency services in Oxford. She says; ‘I’m really proud to have been chosen as a role-model for my home county. Each year I come back for Pride with our Leicestershire colleagues and am reminded of the county’s diversity’.

Established in 1996, Leicester Wildecats (bottom) are a gay football team with about 60 members. Their founder Gareth Miller says; ‘Wildecats provides a unique platform for members of the LGBT community to play football in a friendly, safe and non-judgemental environment. Players of all orientations, ages and abilities are welcome to join.’ The Wildecats have also connected with Leicester City FC to help address the still considerable homophobia in football.

Leicester-born Dr Elly Barnes MBE (centre left) is the founder and director of the charity Educate & Celebrate, which advises and helps make schools into LGBTQ+ friendly spaces. Dr Barnes is known widely for her pioneering work and her approach has been recognised as the best way for taking a ‘whole-school’ approach to these still sometimes problematic issues.

Anjeli Patel (top left) is an Indian trans female born in the Hindu community in Leicester, who now works for accountants Ernst & Young in London as a Senior Consultant in their People Advisory Services practice. Anjeli has been internationally recognised for her work, raising awareness on trans issues and inclusivity in the workplace and has been tipped in various outstanding future leader charts. Leicester excels at supporting its LGBTQ+ communities through many different channels. The LGBTQ+ centre on Wellington Street has been running for over 40 years. Often financially precarious, it is one of the few remaining and longest running of such centres outside London.

6A Text

My father Harry Petzal left it dangerously late to leave Germany. I do not know why and to my eternal regret, I never asked him. I have his German identity card, stamped in Berlin on 4th May 1939, and all of the official papers made out earlier in the year, when he was packing up the family home at 13 Tile Wardenberg Strasse. At that point, his mother, brother and sister in law had been living in The Hague, in Holland, for some time.

My mother Lore Isakowitz, living in England since 1936, still used her German passport, stamped with a J for Jew, to travel between the UK and Belgium and Holland to see Harry and his family, or maybe just his family. There is a stamp from Hook of Holland as late as the 21st July 1939. The story, which has no written proof, was that my mother obtained false papers for Harry, which he
used to enter Britain in August 1939.

On his arrival he had one suitcase and the clothes he stood up in. He did however have a kind family of future in-laws and he had despatched the contents of the Berlin flat to the UK. War broke out shortly after his arrival and he immediately gave himself up to the authorities and volunteered for the Army. This was before the start of ‘enemy alien’ internment. He spoke English and had useful skills as a metallurgist and was placed in the Royal Pioneer Corps (bottom left and centre). He served in various places, including Dumfries in Scotland and Carmarthen in Wales, where he made lifelong local friends. He dug out dead bodies from bomb sites, built walls and kept watch. He also kept diaries and wrote letters, full of his admiration for the British countryside and, as specifically told not to in the ‘Helpful Advice to Every Refugee’ (top left), commented unfavourably on the work ethics, tidiness, diet and drinking habits of the British. In 1943 the Pioneer Corps became an active fighting unit and Harry (with his unit, bottom right) was deemed unfit because of his asthma. However, being a metallurgist, he was sent to work at Lucas, which would later become Lucas Aerospace, to do war work.

Fortunately for my mother, the Lucas factory was close to where she lived with her parents. Lore and Harry married in July 1943 at Hampstead Registry Office (centre left) and celebrated not long after at the house they rented at 14 Wellgarth Road, Hampstead Garden Suburb, which was to become our family home. The wedding was simple but stylish and must have used up many of their clothing coupons and rations points (see Ration Book centre right). The house’s location was not as desirable then as it was to become. It was directly next to the Heath Extension, which from 1939 had an anti aircraft battery of four guns, searchlights that criss-crossed the night sky and a radar installation. A barrage balloon hung in the air close by.

Whilst Harry was serving in the Pioneer Corps and then working at Lucas, Lore and her parents were enduring the Blitz. Sometimes they retreated to the London underground shelters, but often they took refuge with one of Harry’s distant cousins, a doctor and his wife with two small girls, who had moved out to Berkhampstead. Later, in Wellgarth Road, Harry was busy ‘Digging for Victory’ (top left), growing vegetables. Painfully aware of the lack of gardening experience from his urban Berlin upbringing, he tackled it with his usual systematic thoroughness and became a committed gardener for the rest of his life.

My parents, given that they had both escaped from Nazi Germany and were offered safe refuge in Britain, had a ‘good war’. However, they were in a constant state of high anxiety, preoccupied with the course of events and the fate of their family, friends and homeland. Halfway through the war my father made out a will in German, which makes heart rending reading. Aged thirty-five, in a foreign land, with no hope of seeing his family again and with the war stretching ahead, he could only contemplate that he too might not survive and he wished to disperse the small amounts of money and pieces of jewellery he possessed to his wife and oldest friend.

6B Text

The bombing of Dresden (centre and bottom left), my mother’s beloved city, by Allied forces between the 13th and 15th of February 1945, remains one of the most contentious acts of World War II. 722 heavy bombers from the British Royal Air Force (Lancaster cockpit bottom right) and 527 from the United States Air Force dropped more than 3,900 tons of highexplosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city (map bottom right). The resulting firestorm destroyed 39 square kilometres of the city centre and killed an estimated 25,000 people, including refugees fleeing eastward from the Russian advance.

Historians and politicians have dwelt in detail on the bombing of Dresden, and many questions both practical and moral continue to be debated. It is often suggested that Churchill ordered the bombing of Dresden in retaliation for the 1940 bombing of Coventry (top left). This is unlikely. In the grand theatre of European war, decisions were probably more complex and tactical. Dresden, although renowned for its unique cultural heritage, was always considered a legitimate target because it was an important centre of technical industry and a major transport hub. The city had been on a list for ‘strategic bombing’ from before the time that ‘Bomber Harris’, the scapegoat for the attack, came to head Bomber Command. Whilst a staunch defender of the aerial bombing of German cities, Arthur Harris did not conceive the idea, nor was he responsible for choosing the targets. He was, however, bullish and memorably said; ‘The Nazis entered this war under the rather childish delusion that they were going to bomb everyone else, and nobody was going to bomb them. At Rotterdam, London, Warsaw and half a hundred other places, they put their rather naive theory into operation. They sowed the wind and now they are going to reap the whirlwind’.

In his 2004 book ‘Dresden’ the British historian Frederick Taylor staunchly defends the bombing. The book is careful in describing the planning and well-thought-out legitimacy of Dresden as a target. Taylor also emphasises the part played by chance. Anonymous Royal Air Force meteorological officers had sealed the fate of Dresden on the morning of 13th February, by predicting cloud breaks over the city coupled with good weather over the Lincolnshire bases to which the bombers would return. There is fascinating documentation of the attack on Dresden and its aftermath, including film and the remarkable photographs by Richard Peter (top right). There is also a wealth of testimony, both contemporary and recollected, ranging through diaries, photographs and memoirs to combinations of fact and fiction, such as Kurt Vonnegut’s satirical novel Slaughterhouse-Five and Harry Mulisch’s The Stone Bridal Bed.

By a twist of fate, the bombing liberated a small number of Jews who had remained in Dresden, as well as some prisoners of war, including the American Kurt Vonnegut and the British Victor Gregg. On 13th February 1945, Victor Klemperer, protected because he was married to an Aryan, was living with his wife in a designated ‘Jewish house’. During the day he reluctantly complied with Nazi orders to deliver notices of deportation to some of the last remaining members of the Jewish community. Fearful that he too would soon be sent to his death, he used the confusion created by the Allied bombings and the fact that the Gestapo HQ with all its records was destroyed, to rip off his yellow star. Without this identifying symbol he and his wife Eva escaped from Dresden, carrying his precious diaries and little else. Klemperer, ever the diarist, later wrote about the morning after the bombing:

‘We walked slowly, for now I was carrying both bags, and my limbs hurt, along the riverbank… Above us, building after building was a burnt-out ruin. Down here by the river, where many people were moving along or resting on the ground, masses of the empty, rectangular cases of stick incendiary bombs stuck out of the churned-up earth. At times, small and no more than a bundle of clothes, the dead were scattered across our path… Further from the centre some people had been able to save a few things; they pushed handcarts with bedding and the like or sat on boxes and bundles. Crowds streamed unceasingly between these islands, past the corpses and smashed vehicles, up and down the Elbe, a silent, agitated procession’.

6C Text

My parents were enduringly grateful to the British for giving them sanctuary and for defeating the Nazis. They gave my oldest brother (the three of us top right, circa 1959), born just after the end of the war, the middle name Franklin in tribute to the American President Roosevelt. Whatever reservations they may have had, my parents loved Britain, the landscape, the humour, the lack of intrusion and that they could be private citizens. My father treasured a copy of the ‘Helpful Guidance to Refugees’ (bottom left), which encouraged the behaviours and good qualities he so appreciated in his new homeland.

Like the unaccompanied children who had come on the Kindertransport (statue at Liverpool Street Station, centre left), at the end of the war many refugees found out about the fate of their family and friends in Europe, most of whom had died in the camps. As far as I know, the last communication
my father had from his family in Holland was a letter from Westerbork in August 1943 notifying him of the birth of the twins Robert and Elisabeth. The facts about individuals were slow to emerge and my father went back to Germany in 1946, both to do business and to see and find out for himself. On his 1946 trip back to Germany he went to buy up the detritus of war and sell it as scrap. Few refugees wanted to return to a devastated and divided Germany and most applied for British Naturalisation and Citizenship. Thekla Hess, by then in her 60’s and still living in Leicester (bottom right), became British, as did her family and all of my family (my Grandfather Erich’s identity card centre top and his blue passport bottom right). Our small family prospered, and by the time I was born in 1953 Harry had a steadily growing metal business based in Camden Town, dealing in aluminium and stainless steel.

The first note of concern I recall from my parents about living as ‘foreigners’ in Britain was with the Conservative Minister Enoch Powell’s (top left) widely reported and inflammatory 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech, which included lines such as; ‘We must be mad, literally mad, as a nation to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants, who are for the most part the material of the future growth of the immigrant-descended population. It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre’. I remember my parents, horrified by its racism and xenophobia, switching their newspaper order from the Tory-supporting Daily Telegraph to the more liberal Guardian, a change which was never reversed. Their anxiety was not about their status, which was settled, but more due to an undercurrent of fear based on current events and past experience, which we can still recognise today.

Unlike the refugees from Europe who had to apply for, and were sometimes refused, asylum, those who came after the war on the Windrush (centre right) and other boats from the Caribbean were British citizens. They were encouraged to come as a solution to the postwar labour shortage. The 2018 ‘Windrush scandal’ is linked to the Home Office ‘hostile environment’ immigration policy. Implemented in 2012, these administrative and legislative measures were calculated to make staying in Britain as difficult as possible for those without the correct ‘leave to remain’ papers, in the hope that they would leave voluntarily. Citizens of the Windrush generation without the stipulated papers were denied legal rights, threatened with deportation and in some cases wrongly detained or deported. Due to the uncertainty generated, some lost their jobs, homes or were denied benefits and
medical care to which they were entitled. The campaign group Liberty was one of many organisations to challenge this government policy (see lorry in centre).

The book ‘Life in the United Kingdom’ (new version, centre right) prepares those wanting to become residents for the citizenship test. A multiple-choice exercise with 24 questions, the test covers some challenging subjects. A candidate is expected to know the aims of the Chartists (see print 5B), who built the Tower of London, and who first won an Olympic medal in the 10,000 metres. I particular liked the question ‘What is not a fundamental principle of British life?’ With a choice from: 1) treating others with fairness. 2) looking after yourself and family. 3) driving a car. 4) looking after the environment’. I did not pass the mock examination first time.

6D Text

My work is about memory and how we remember. It is also about how we memorialise. Is it the small things or the grand gesture that remind us of who we are, and where and what we have come from? And has the digital age utterly changed the way we remember? Leicester’s massive stone War Memorial to the dead of WWI in Victoria Park (centre right), designed by Edwin Lutyens, is on the grand scale. So, in a different way, was the city-wide outpouring of grief over the death of
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Leicester City FC Chairman (lower centre left). One is an enduring stone monument, the other is now a largely digital memory, with multiple dispersed images of so many symbolically draped blue and white scarves.

Sometimes, it is possible to create a memorial that is both personal and public. A Stolpersteine is a ‘stumbling block’, a 10cm by 10cm concrete cube faced with a brass plate which is inscribed with the names of those displaced or destroyed by the Nazi extermination programme. Initiated by German artist Gunter Demnig in 1992, who has made over 70,000, they are fixed permanently in the street outside the victim’s last place of residency. Those for my grandparents and mother (centre) are outside the site of their house in Dresden.

My mother’s memorial stone and my grandparents’ graves (top right), which I rarely visit, are in the Jewish cemetery in Golders Green in London. But every morning I put on my mother’s simple gold and coral ring (top left) and feel as if I carry her with me. My family deeply appreciated their British identities and passports and might have been horrified at my application in 2013 for a German passport (top centre). What I thought of at the time as a symbolic gesture, has now turned out to have a very different meaning for me; my children and my grandchildren all now have EU passports. How different my family’s lives might have been, if they had had an alternative nationality as a means of escape in the 1930s. Some memorials are about place and the site they occupy. The Berlin Jewish Museum (bottom left), designed by Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, is a conceptual building with the history of Berlin, the Jews and the Holocaust embodied in its materials, zig zag forms, underground access, slanting axes and massive voids. The site of the gruesome murder of a transgender woman, the ten metre pink stone triangle (bottom centre) in the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona is the first monument in Spain dedicated to the LGBT community. Used as a symbol of denigration by the Nazis, the pink triangle has in recent years been reclaimed by the LGBTQ+ community as a badge of pride.

Some events, like the march for Leicester City’s Chairman, are of the moment and are given ample media attention. Was it ‘compassion fatigue’ or something more sinister on the part of the media that so little coverage was given to a memorial in September 2016, when Parliament Square was covered in a ‘graveyard’ of life jackets (bottom right) in memory of the thousands of refugees who had died at sea. The decrepit life jackets in this memorial, collected at refugee camps, were originally provided by human traffickers who did not safety check them because they have no concern for their victims or their fate.

How do we reconcile after the terrible acts of war? I am the Vice Chair of the Dresden Trust, a small charity started after German unification in 1993 to help rebuild Dresden, in particular the Frauenkirche, destroyed by the bombing. With funds raised countrywide, the trust commissioned a
Golden Orb and Cross (top left) which now stands on top of the cupola of the Frauenkirche as a symbol of enduring friendship. Nowadays an essential part of the Trust’s work is organising exchange visits for pupils in Dresden and British schools to further friendship and understanding.

6E Text

For many of us, digital technology is an essential part of our lives. In fact, most people under 40 cannot remember life without it. And so, the last two prints of this group were made entirely digitally and are notably different from the hand made ones. In this print the images partially mimic an old-fashioned art gallery, whilst in the final one they remain true to their digital form and context.

The 2019 general election for Leicester and Leicestershire went with national trends. The city retained its three Labour seats, albeit with lower majorities, whilst the county remained Conservative. Two sitting MP’s, Liz Tindall (centre left) and Jon Ashworth (bottom centre) (all MP images Chris McAndrew), held their seats, but with a swing against Tindall of 11.12% since 2017, and against Ashworth of 6.5%.

Keith Vaz (bottom right) was MP for Leicester East from 1987 to 2019. Hugely popular amongst his supporters, his suspension from parliament after a three-year investigation, on the grounds that he expressed a willingness to buy Class A drugs for others to use, forced his resignation. He was replaced by Claudia Webbe (centre right), (photo Daily Mail), who held the seat despite a constituency swing of 16.22% against the Labour Party. Leicester-born, but better known as a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn and a member of the Labour National Executive Council, Webbe is one of 104 women Labour MP’s who for the first time outnumber their 98 male Labour colleagues in the House of Commons.

Sir Peter Soulsby (centre) was elected Mayor of Leicester in May 2011. He previously served as Labour Leader of Leicester City Council from 1981 to 1994 and from 1996 to 1999. An indefatigable advocate for the city, he works with the Labour Council to deliver on a wide range of measures such as ‘Connecting Leicester’ ‘to make it easier to move from on area of the city to another’.

The arts are vibrant in Leicester but are repeatedly subject to cuts. In 2019 four curatorial posts were removed from the museum service. The German Expressionism Collection, much of which is held on loan from the extended Hess Family, is now without a specialist or dedicated curator. This matters, as whilst the remit of the council and the museums service is to become more user focussed, an important collection like German Expressionism actually requires more than just visitors. This valuable and important collection is not as well or widely known as it should be. For the collection to gain international status, it needs to have its catalogue raisonné completed, (this is a detailed inventory of all it holds). This project was started but is now on hold. It needs expertise to grow the collection through bequests and donations, to negotiate loans, to generate exhibitions and educational events, and create interpretative material. A curator should also be attending conferences and other events raising the profile of the collection. This all requires a level of knowledge and capability which cannot just be ‘piloted in’ as and when required. It is a pity that when considering the cuts, the council did not look elsewhere for funding to support curating German Expressionism; to trusts and foundations, philanthropists or business.

The intervention by Liberal Democrat Councillor Nigel Porter suggesting selling a Francis Bacon painting owned by New Walk museum because he dislikes it, is thought-provoking in the light of the history discussed in this exhibition and the holdings of the museum. On Porter’s declaration of interests on the Leicester council website, he lists himself as a self-employed sculptor working on environmental and conceptual work.

Given the level of curatorial cuts and problems of the budget It has been a pleasant surprise to see a provisional sum allocated for a new contemporary art space within New Walk.

6F Text

Stories do not end; they shift and move on. The many narratives in these prints continue, some growing in importance other diminishing.

The Trevor Thomas story continues to reveal more about this surprising man and his capacity for engaging in the world around him. A visit to Bedford, his hometown for the last 25 years of his life, led us to a bookshop, whose owners had on Trevor’s death bought many of his books and paintings. Amongst them was a copy of a 1989, privately printed, short book called ‘Lost Encounters’. This chronicles his life in 1963 at 23 Fitzroy Road in London, as the downstairs neighbour of the poet Sylvia Plath. Thomas details his relationship with Mrs. Hughes, as he knew her, in the period leading up to her suicide and its aftermath. Written many years after the event, on publication Thomas was  threatened with legal action by Sylvia’s former husband, the poet, Ted Hughes.

The extent of the Nazi looting of art, and the level to which the repercussions continue to this day, was revealed with the Gurlitt hoard in 2012. Art dealer Hildebrand Gurlitt was responsible for acquiring thousands of artworks for the Nazi regime, and for himself, in a variety of ways, some of them more dubious than others. His son Cornelius kept the hoard and occasionally sold pieces of work. This was discovered after a chance encounter between Cornelius Gurlitt and a border guard, who reported him to the German tax authorities for enquiries after finding a sizeable amount of cash on him. The ensuing investigations were labyrinthine and will continue for many years. Like the Hess family, who have fought through the courts for the return of their family’s artworks, descendants of those who had work bought by Gurlitt from their families under duress are challenging for their lawful return. The German government website www.lostart.de is exceptional in its thoroughness, as is Catherine Hickley’s book ‘The Munich Art Hoard’.

The war in Syria, which began in 2011, took another major turn at the end of 2019 as the regime took on the remaining areas not yet under its control. Whilst such figures can never be completely accurate, it is estimated there are 6.7 million Syrian refugees who have fled the country and 6.2 Syrians displaced within their own country. The UN refugee Agency worldwide figures for 2018 estimate that, globally, 70.8 million people have been forcibly displaced.

Altogether, more than 67 %of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries:

Syrian Arab Republic (6.7 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.3 million), Myanmar (1.1 million) and

Somalia (0.9 million). Whilst our media often describes it otherwise, Britain is low on the list as a European destination for refugees applying for asylum, with Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Greece all receiving and accepting far greater numbers.

The climate emergency is felt as acutely in Leicester as elsewhere in the world, and groups, including school students have demonstrated throughout the city. Leicester City Council declared a ‘climate emergency’ in February 2019, along with many other councils across the UK. Since then, they have been thinking about what Leicester will need to change to become carbon neutral. A Climate Assembly in Leicester city centre on 18 January 2020 will enable residents to have a say in the proposals.