The Belonging Project at Waterstones


The Belonging Project has the pleasure of exhibiting at Waterstones in Belfast. The opening night featured the 10 portraits on display across the entire store, with the accompanying transcripts of their interviews available throughout the two floors. Be sure to  stop by and have a look at the exhibition before it's gone!

Many thanks to Waterstones and the staff, and Paul for their help in coordinating and help in setting this up. 

The Belonging Project at the Human Rights Festival

The Belonging Project was featured at the Human Rights Festival's Refugee Welcome Party this weekend at the Black Box in Belfast.  Click through the gallery below to see some images of the event:

Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival

The Belonging Project is thrilled to be a part of the 2016 Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival.  The festival is an annual event bringing together humanitarian, community, and charitable organisations around Northern Ireland to celebrate and bring attention to human rights matters.

As the NIHRF website explains:

Each year the 10th December is celebrated as Human Rights Day across the world. The date marks the United Nations General Assembly’s adoption and proclamation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948. Civil society groups across the world use this date as an opportunity to celebrate and mark the importance of human rights globally.

Every year a diverse range of organisations across Northern Ireland have traditionally held events in the week surrounding this date to mark the occasion and highlight different aspects of human rights as they apply locally and internationally. In 2012 a number of these organisations came together to pool those individual events into a programme of activities promoted together for the first time as the Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival.

The festival is currently administered by the Human Rights Consortium in collaboration with organisations from civic society. The distinct events that make up the festival however, are developed and run by organisations and individuals with an interest in the protection and promotion of human rights. The diversity of events and the range of issues covered as part of the festival are reflective of the universal nature of human rights.

From December 6 to December 12 there will be dozens of events around Northern Ireland open to the public, and most events are free!  The Belonging Project will be featured at Black Box on December 12 as a part of the Refugees Welcome Party.

Workshop Toolkit Launched

Today marks the launch of Workshop Toolkit!  The toolkit uses different forms of media interactive activities enhanced with photographs from the Belonging Project to foster discussion about diversity and identity in Northern Ireland. The workshops will, by an active engagement, give participants an opportunity to explore how they can interact with people from a diverse background in order to achieve an environment with understanding and acceptance in their schools, workplace or local communities.

For information on how to bring these resources into your community or to attend a future training, please contact our offices at or visit

The Workshop Toolkit exists due to contributions from the Arts Council NI and the RADAR Centre NI.

Introducing the Belonging Blog!

The Belonging Project's purpose is to assist migrants and ethnic minority communities in Northern Ireland by tackling racism and eliminating barriers against migrant communities through our services and exhibitions.  Since the onset, Belonging has used art to tell the stories of migrants and ethnic minorities and spread tolerance.  Now we're launching a blog to further our message!  Since a picture is worth a thousand words we're not shifting focus away from our art, interviews, and exhibitions.  The blog will exist to tell the stories of migrants or those working with migrants and share the humanity found in all people regardless of where they come from.

To see the kind of content that you can find on the blog, read some excerpts:

Looking back, the success of Belonging has come as less of a surprise and more of a reassuring affirmation of the human capacity for connection and empathy. At a time of heightened movement and desperation amongst international migrants, Belonging offers a heartening perspective on how migration can contribute to the formation of a society that is better because of its changes, not in spite of them. Belonging reminds us that our shared humanity actually lies in the rich diversity of our experiences, and that through embracing and exploring our differences, we can begin to find common ground.

Continue reading The Beginning of Belonging by Taylor Holland

When I met Plamena, she expressed her desire to share Bulgarian culture with the people of Northern Ireland, through dance, food, and festivals. She glowed with pride when discussing her family business in Armagh, but even more so when recounting the academic success of her children. Vasundhara, a teacher and activist from India, told me about her political work in India, and her new passion for political work in Northern Ireland. Even though I couldn’t understand Luis’s Portuguese during his interview, I could see the joyous sparkle in his eyes and I could hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he recounted tales from his childhood.

Continue reading The Humanity that Unites Us by Jasmine McGhee

Check the Blog section of our site for regular posts about migrant experiences and insight into the Belonging Project's work.  Want to contribute your own experience to the blog?  Email us!

Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week 2015

The Belonging Project is excited to participate in this year's Community Relations and Cultural Awareness Week with a collection of workshops and the launch of our month-long Whiterock Library exhibition! During the week of Monday 28th September to Sunday 4th October you can attend events throughout Northern Ireland from the community and voluntary sectors, education, and the public and business sectors to showcase innovative approaches to good relations and building a united and shared society.  The theme this year is “One Place, Many People”.

Beginning on September 28th to October 30th, the Belonging Project's Cultural Awareness Week exhibition displays the lives and stories of migrants throughout Northern Ireland. Crafted by expert photographer Laurence Gibson, the exhibition is aimed at tackling racism and ending prejudice.  Click here for more information.

We are holding several workshops throughout the week, kicking off on the afternoon of Monday, September 28th at the Colin Glen Library in Dunmurry.  Click here for more information.

On Tuesday, September 29th we have a two workshops in Belfast. The first is at the Whiterock Library in the afternoon, while the second is at the Queens Film Theatre in the evening. QFT is hosting several events throughout the week. For a full list of QFT's Cultural Awareness Week events, click here.

Rounding out the week, we have one final workshop at the Whiterock Library on Thursday, October 1st.

The Community Relations Council describes the week's events as:

The week provides a platform for organisations and groups from the community and voluntary sectors, education, and the public and business sectors to showcase innovative approaches to good relations and building a united and shared society. This high profile initiative also supports the Together: Building A United Community strategy. It is an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of our culture and heritage, promote cultural diversity and tackle sectarianism and racism. It will help to inspire new ideas and approaches to break down barriers and increase understanding and engagement between and amongst all sections of the community.

Community Relations Week, co-ordinated by the Community Relations Council, is now in its 13th year. Last year, over 200 events were held throughout Northern Ireland and we are looking forward to another busy and varied programme this year.  Increasingly public bodies, which have a statutory responsibility to promote good relations, have become involved in Community Relations Week and have organised events that can showcase good relations initiatives. District Councils have been particularly supportive.  We hope this will continue to be the case this year.  The many voluntary and community groups active in Northern Ireland are also encouraged to come forward and demonstrate the rich diversity of civic life.  Events can take many forms from artistic performances, exhibitions and competitions to lectures, discussions and debates.

Find an event near you and join in!

For the full Cultural Awareness Week brochure click here.