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The Refugee Stories Library

  • Femme Fatale 4620 Wisconsin Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20016 United States (map)

The Refugee Stories Library is having its third installment at Femme Fatale DC. Join us for an evening of storytelling and community building: Listen to the enthralling stories of our refugee storytellers, engage in one-on-one conversations, and learn why people are forced to flee their homes.

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The Refugee Stories Library gives voices to different perspectives and humanizes the roots and routes of the migration experience. The personal stories of refugees presented through the Refugee Stories Library Project challenge the simplistic refugee narrative that categorizes refugees into worthy and unworthy victims. By fleeing their home and becoming refugees, they are deprived of their identity as individuals. In addition, by the media, politicians, and the public there is a tendency to depict refugees in categories of two extremes, enemies to national security or victims that were mistreated. In the current environment, a sense of humanity and social agency is often absent in the depiction of refugees.

You are invited to engage in personal conversations with our refugee storytellers, to listen and to ask curious questions. You will learn about the reasons why our refugee storytellers had to flee, their lives before they came to the U.S. and their challenges here in the DMV area, but may build a connection over commonalities, like your favorite food or artist.

The Refugee Stories Library shows that we all have much more in common than we have differences: we are children, parents, friends, and after all humans.

As part of the evening, we will also host the photo exhibit Dreams of Refugee Children by Sophie Albert, which gives a voice to the next generation by exploring the dreams of children that arrived in the DMV area as refugees. The story of each family may be different but the children share similar hopes for a future where they can be whatever they want to be. Walking through the exhibit, you will realize that children are children and that their place of birth is not the only thing defining them. Look them in the eyes, connect with them through a smile and find our common humanity. Within the children’s eyes, you will find your own inner child. Take a moment to reflect and listen: Have you become what you dreamed to be?

ALL PROCEEDS of the event will go to the Women’s group of the Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC), one of the organizations resettling refugees to the DMV area. The Women’s group empowers newly arrived refugee women in Northern Virginia and Maryland to navigate the challenges of their new life here in the U.S.


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