Text graphic - The Drawing Together Project

How young refugees rebuild their everyday lives in Scotland, Finland and Norway

The Drawing Together project works with groups of young refugees in Scotland, Finland, Norway to examine how they draw and describe their networks and relationships.

Beginning in 2020, this three-year project learns more about the lives of young refugees and what matters in adjusting and establishing to life in new places through a series of art workshops, photoshoots, films and interviews. The participants also nominate a ‘value person’ from their social networks who are interviewed to understand how the young people's social networks evolve over time. In this way, the project also considers how Scotland, Finland and Norway make room for young refugees in their countries.

Led by Professor Ravi KS Kohli, Professor Child Welfare at the University of Bedfordshire, the Drawing Together project works in partnership with three other research centres in Norway and Finland: Tampere University, NORCE and the Migration Institute of Finland, and an associate partnership with Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. CELCIS, the Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection, based at the University of Strathclyde, provides research support to the project’s Scottish team.

Read more about the Drawing Together project

Glasgow exhibition: June 2023

The Drawing Together project hosted an exhibition of original artwork, photography and films by the young participants in Glasgow during Refugee Festival Scotland 2023.

The exhibition showcased visual art approaches combined with audio narration to display highlights of the young people’s memories of wellness in childhood, wellbeing in their everyday lives now, and in their hopes for the future.

Sister exhibitions were held in Turku, Finland from 8 September to 22 October, and Bergen, Norway from 19 October to 5 November.

Download the poster

Read more about the exhibition

Text graphic - Useful Resources

The Drawing Together website

Find out more about the project and read blog posts from the researchers and art therapists:

Visit the Drawing Together website

The Drawing Together Policy Briefing

Published in April 2024, this briefing provides insights for Scottish policy makers and practitioners to better equip them in promoting the wellbeing of young refugees.

Read the policy briefing

CELCIS feature story

'Drawing Together: How young refugees rebuild their lives in new countries – and how we can all learn from their stories'

Read the feature story

CELCIS blog posts

'Everyone’s story is their own: learning from the personal narratives of young refugees' by Christine and Hamid, Ambassadors for the Drawing Together project

Read Christine and Hamid's blog

Connections are key: the importance of relationship-based practice in supporting refugees and asylum seekers by Lorraine Ward, a social worker who has worked with the children and families social work department in Glasgow for over 25 years

Read Lorraine's blog

The power of participation: understanding the lives of young refugees through creativity by Paul Sullivan, Drawing Together team member and Professor Ravi KS Kohli, Professor of Child Welfare at the University of Bedfordshire and Drawing Together Lead

Read Paul and Ravi's