Meeting, eating and making music at Swietlica

Flashback to Welcome Home Refugee Night in June

A tempting invitation in my inbox.  An evening of multicultural music, poetry and food at the next Swietlica Open Day on Monday 3 October.  It’s the winning combination that draws crowds to the friendly gathering at Fort Community Wing and so I’m very sorry to miss this event but other members of Leith Open Space will be able to join in. Continue reading “Meeting, eating and making music at Swietlica”

Welcome Home celebrates humankind in Refugee Week

Make no mistake. Welcome Home is a wholehearted celebration of diversity. The migrant-collective deliberately sets out to honour the rich contribution migrants make to life in Edinburgh and Refugee Week is a perfect opportunity to do it in style. On Monday 20th June  Fort Community Wing fills with  colour, music and food representing the wonderful mix of cultures in Edinburgh.

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Cool as a cucumber: Welcome Home to cultural diversity

Sofia steals the show: photograph by Martyna Kamecka

The pictures say it all.  There were many magical moments at the first Welcome Home open stage night – Sofia’s grin, Maria’s love letters, Gordon’s poetry, Lotus Leaf’s jazz – and the second event promises many more.  Come to the Fort Community Wing on Monday 21st February for a whole-hearted celebration of Leith’s cultural diversity.  And please bring a plate of food that reminds you of home.

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Marcin’s great motoring adventure from Leith to Mongolia

Mongolia bound: Marcin Potepski and his hot car (Pictures by Kasia Raszewska)

It’s madness of course. “It’s so stupid we thought we need to do it.”  That’s Marcin Potepski the night before he set off on a 10,000 mile drive from Leith to Mongolia in a nine-year-old Ford Fiesta with a habit of overheating. The Mongol Rally is for people with dodgy cars and a spirit of adventure – and it raises money for charity.

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Answering questions of domestic violence

Life goes on whatever is happening in Westminster. Here’s an email from Kasia Raszewska about an important project at Swietlica, providing support and information for people experiencing domestic violence.  You are welcome to join the meeting chaired by community policeman Simon Daley on Monday 10th May at 6.30pm in Fort Community Wing.  Over to Kasia for more information… Continue reading “Answering questions of domestic violence”

Smile please – you’re in Leith

All smiles: Maria Masur-Grieve and just visible behind her Marek Pietryzykowski

Politicians take note.  Sometimes the simplest ideas win the most hearts, minds and votes. Last night’s political drama in Fort Community Wing ended with a competition for a project to change life in Leith for the better.  And the clear winners of a small cash prize to make it happen were Maria and Marek for an idea that costs nothing to put into action.  Smiling Leith simply asks everyone to smile three times a day to a complete stranger.  Continue reading “Smile please – you’re in Leith”

Change – a real life political drama at a theatre near you

“I’ve never seen anything like it! It is such an interesting and dynamic way to explore issues. I really liked how the audience interacted with and influenced the play.”

While politicians debate, a Leith community theatre invites local people to explore what positive change  means and how we can make it happen.  Change is the name of a unique theatre project which opens with a first performance at Fort Community Wing on Thursday 29 April  at 7 pm.

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Politics out of the shadow


Ola and Malcolm standing in the Scottish Parliament lobby.
Ola Kasprzak with Malcolm Chisholm

Politicians, preoccupied with political rivalry, can forget the most important thing –  the needs of people they represent

Read Ola Kasprzak’s fascinating and forthright report of her experience  of shadowing two politicians in the Scottish Parliament and City of Edinburgh Council – she says they changed her negative opinion of politicians but her conclusions should be read by anyone standing for election this year. Or any other year. Continue reading “Politics out of the shadow”

Who was that Santa?


We arrived just as Santa was leaving so we didn’t even have time to snap what might have been  a tell-tale picture of his boots as he disappeared out the door. Luckily Pawel Drozd was there with his camera to capture the atmosphere of another great Swietlica Christmas party – and two of the star performers. Continue reading “Who was that Santa?”

St Andrews with a Swietlica swing


Grassroots at Redbraes during Edinburgh Festival 2008

On a stormy winter night it’s great to get a blast of summer. The picture shows the fantastic Grassroots Theatre Company when they visited Redbraes community garden in warmer weather. Now they are back for another tour of Scotland with what sounds like perfect timing for the St Andrews night party in Fort Community Wing on Monday 30th November – they are invited to give a workshop which should warm everyone up.

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