Made Of Stars Is The Immersive Experience Reframing Refugee Stories

by SHOWstudio on 18 October 2022

Touring around Liverpool this month, the ground-breaking project was created in collaboration with refugee artists and global creatives.

Touring around Liverpool this month, the ground-breaking project was created in collaboration with refugee artists and global creatives.

Propped up in the middle of Liverpool’s The Black-E arts and culture centre this week is an otherworldly 30-foot pyramid by set designer and long-standing SHOWstudio collaborator Andrew Tomlinson. Once visitors step inside, they aren’t greeted by extraterrestrial visions but are immersed in epic soundscapes and film projections showcasing the stories of refugees residing in Liverpool. The groundbreaking project, Made of Stars, was dreamed up by Turntable Theatre in collaboration with international creatives – including a series of portraits by Nick Knight – and refugee artists. Looking to challenge the depiction of refugees to the British public, the project presents stories of hope and joy as a way to counteract the negative narratives that dominate mainstream media.

Made of Stars

‘I hope that the audience stops othering refugees’, explains Turntable Theatre co-artistic director Chris Tomlinson. ‘I hope that it makes us understand that at any point it can happen to anyone at any time. Often fleeing your home isn't something that anyone chooses to do’. The immersive experience features 14 refugee artists across a variety of mediums, including Iranian filmmaker Elia Sadeqi, El Salvadorian radio DJ Jamie Perez Sandoval, and Afghan seamstress Monira Whadat. The varied lineup of talents puts the vast range of Liverpool’s creative community of refugees and displaced individuals at the forefront.

Bringing this humanising experience to life was Liverpool-based artist and architect Noel Urbain and multidisciplinary movement director and choreographer Grace Goulding, who worked alongside the project’s many collaborators. SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight also created a film featuring a series of emotive and intimate portraits of the refugee artists included in the project to be projected on the many sides of the pyramid. Funded by The Arts Council, Culture Liverpool and The Unity Theatre, the projects calls attention to not only Liverpool’s community, but the greater issue affecting millions of people around the world. When asked about what he wants to accomplish with this project Tomlinson explained, ‘To make our audience challenge their preconceptions of what it is to be a refugee in Britain. To challenge the mainstream media's portrayal and to inspire and create a sense of hope in humanity’.

The experience will be held at The Black-E until 20 October before touring around Liverpool. Check out to get all the details.

Friday 28th October  - Tuesday 1st November its at Knowsley Community College.

Friday 11th November - Sunday 13th November its at St Mary's Market, St Helens.

Tuesday 22nd November - Thursday 24th November is at The Lighthouse, Anfield.

Artistic Direction:
Matt Rutter, Chris Tomlinson
Executive Direction:
Sarah Lovell
Set Design:
Sound Design:
Stephen Hull
Animation and Projection:
Focal Studios
James Hooton, David Tulley
Moving Portraits:
Portraits Edit:
Film Edit:
Nick Wood, The Koolstof
MAGNA set construction
Workshop Facilitation:
Grace Goulding, Matt Rutter & Chris Tomlinson
Grace Goulding
Sarah Lovell
Assistant Production:
Fergal Looney
Tour Production:
Natasha Patel
Refugee Artists:
Mudasser Akbari, Mohammed Alnour, Faisel, James Perez Sandoval, Elia Sadiqi, Noel Urbain, Monira Whadat, Woven Stories Group
Support and Funding:
Arts Council England, Unity Theatre, Culture Liverpool



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