Common Ground is a creative and social space within CCA dedicated to bringing together refugees and those going through the asylum process.
The space is designed to provide a safe, social environment to break isolation, increase connectivity and facilitate collaborations among individuals, the wider community and the creative arts.
The project was developed from CCA’s open-source model. This approach lays the foundations for Common Ground’s open and mutual practice with refugees and those in the asylum process to develop the autonomous use of the space and direction of the project. In our first year, we focused on widening engagement through our consultation and collaboration with community members and a variety of local groups and organisations across Glasgow.
Due to the long, protracted process of asylum, individuals and families are marginalised because of insecure, temporary accommodation, financial hardship and social isolation. There is an urgent need to create a welcoming, safe and supportive space for people who have just arrived in Glasgow, where meaningful connections can be made and collective, community support can be strengthened. We also aim to support and collaborate with individual creatives and refugee-led groups and projects.
Over the next two years, Common Ground aims to:
- Cultivate and develop a thriving social space for connection, creativity and collaboration
- Improve access and participation through a range of information and group work sessions covering social, cultural and creative arts activities
- Foster wider public engagement through partnerships with a variety of refugee-led and local community groups, projects and organisations
- Support the development and implementation of social and cultural activities led by communities
- Drop in and social space
Common Ground will be open for community members to meet and socialise, use the computers and wifi and find out more information about different opportunities, activities and events within CCA and beyond. The drop-in days will introduce people to CCA’s activities and facilities (such as the cinema, performance space and galleries) and share information about local community projects and initiatives. We will also host specific group work meetings and activities organised by Common Ground and other partners.
- Peer-to-peer support
We facilitate a safe space for people with lived experience of the asylum process to come together and discuss ways of creative engagement and collaboration. This peer-to-peer support group will encourage wider use and participation in the space and will form a key support network for those newly arrived in Glasgow. The group will also organise activities in relation to the interests and needs of the community.
- Culture and community activities
Common Ground hosts a series of events and activities celebrating cultural diversity and identity across Glasgow. So far, we have hosted storytelling workshops, cooking and food sharing sessions, film screenings with panel discussions and community celebrations, such as Eid and Christmas parties for individuals and families. We also open the space to and support individuals and community groups to host their own events and project activities. These culture and community events see the dynamic use of the space and offer a diversity of activities for the wider community to engage with.
- Steering group
The plan for the year ahead is to directly involve community members with lived experience of the asylum process in shaping the future direction of the project. This steering group will meet on a monthly basis and share insights on the activity and use of the space as well as taking an active role in the planning, development and organisation of Common Ground.
How to get involved?
For more information or to find out how to participate in any of our activities and groups, please visit during our drop-in days, Tuesday-Thursday, or contact Common Ground Manager, Mohammed Alazraq (firstname.lastname@example.org).