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The Suitcase - Film Screening and panel discussion

22 Jun 19:30

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The Suitcase - Film Screening and panel discussion

22 Jun 2023


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The Suitcase is an innovative and original student led art project which explores the concepts of loss and belonging through the eyes of sanctuary seekers from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Türkiye and Egypt.

Viewers are invited to connect with six stories of displacement through five short films, created by Red 7 Productions. The short films detail the sanctuary seekers’ lived experiences, their journeys to Norwich, and the emotive reasons for the objects they chose to share. The film is accompanied by an exhibition where visitors are invited to connect with each story through five suitcases located on plinths in Norwich Theatre Royal’s bar. Each suitcase tells the story of a sanctuary seeker through the objects they had to leave behind, alongside those precious things that could be saved, like a small bag of soil from Afghanistan – one sanctuary seeker’s tangible connection to a lost homeland.

The Suitcase is the brainchild of Anastasiia Petrenko (Ana), a Ukrainian student studying MA International Development at UEA. Ana is one of the 2022-23 cohort of Sanctuary Scholars, who received a scholarship as part of UEA’s commitment to helping reduce the barriers to participation in higher education faced by those seeking sanctuary in the UK. The Suitcase was developed alongside other Sanctuary Scholars from a range of other countries, including Afghanistan, Syria, Egypt and Türkiye.

Join us afterwards for a panel discussion with Ana Petrenko (The Suitcase Artistic Director), Jay Gearing (film maker – Red 7 Productions), Sophie North (Academic Lead for the UEA University of Sanctuary), and Madeleine Dutton (Sanctuary Liaison Officer, UEA).

This event has been programmed as part of Refugee Week 2023 – a UK-wide festival celebrating refugees’ contributions, creativity, resilience. The week aims to help people from different backgrounds connect beyond labels and encourage understanding of why people are displaced and their challenges when seeking safety.

Important information

Age recommendation: 13+

Ticket Prices:  Free of Charge
Length of film:  30 Minutes – followed by a panel discussion

Please Note:
Age Restriction: Parental guidance 
The suitcase may be traumatising to some audiences

Creative Engagement

Take Part

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Before signing up, please take a moment to read our Participants Guidance & Policies (Safeguarding & Privacy etc) 



Stage Two

Eat & Drink

Fresh, seasonal, and locally sourced produce. Enjoy the best in food and drink  at our restaurant Prelude or a quick delicious bite before the show.

Getting here

Directions to  the Stage Two. Where to park near the Stage Two, drop-off & disabled parking plus public transport information.

Access Information

Up-to-date information on access our building, accessible performances and details on personal assistant tickets.