Strange Familiars involved young refugees and unaccompanied asylum seekers in an exploration of the strange and the familiar of the city of London. Strange Familiars drew on both traditional ethnic forms and contemporary British art practice. From 2003 – 2004 Phakama collaborated with local refugee organisations and the Refugee Council in order to recruit young participants.
The project’s aim was to assist them in building confidence and life skills. This project was developed in response to the increasing numbers of isolated young Asylum seekers in the city. Running weekly workshops over a ten-month period, Phase one culminated in a week-long residency at The National Children’s home in North London and a performance that once again dazzled audiences of Lift’s Family Friendly Season.
Phase two combined forces once more with Lewisham Youth Theatre for a performance at the Horniman Museum called Breaking the Glass Box in February 2004.