#spbr22 – thank you

So many lovely moments and so people to thank!

Thank you to :

  • the marshals
  • the choirs and musicians
  • the two 24 hour runners
  • all the other runners
  • all the walkers, hoppers and skippers
  • the long distance travellers
  • the walled garden and the cafe servers and cake bakers
  • the exhibition curators and looker-after-ers
  • the first aiders
  • Heeley Trust
  • the fun-runners
  • the lord mayor
  • the lantern makers and hangers
  • the kite makers and flyers
  • the fruit providers (Regather and Beanies), waterers (Derbyshire Lane Co-op) and milkers (Our Cow Molly)
  • the numerous volunteers
  • the leafleteers
  • the masseurs
  • the photographers
  • Badil
  • our interviewees
  • the writers
  • Sheffield PSC
  • the DIYers

Let’s have more next year – #spBR23 -> 17th and 18th June 2023.

The Buskers’ Hour

Last time we held small park BIG RUN in Meersbrook Park in 2019, the final hour was coined Buskers’ Hour. And it’s back! Musicians are positioned around the run circuit to encourage weary final hour participants and kicking off the festive celebratory atmosphere for the end of run rally. It will be 11.00am-noon on Sunday 19th June.

With some runners near to completing the whole 24 hours, their services will be needed more than ever! We’re delighted to have eight groups of very talented musicians kindly donating their time, efforts and happiness to us.

These include highly talented singer-songwriters, a ten piece folk band, a community choir recently returned from Palestine, a Sheffield street band, a heavy metal acoustic duo. It’s going to be a blast!

This is the complete list. Thank you all!

1 Well Dressed Band are a community based folk band based in the Peak District
2 Cobalt Tales are a female duo based in Sheffield that tours the UK and festival circuit
3 Sheffield Street Band is a well known local collective of musicians
4 Julia Waldron is a wonderful singer songwriter/guitarist from Sheffield.
5 Megatron Death is inspirational heavy metal folk.
6 Tadhamon choir is an ensemble of singers very supportive of the Palestine cause
7 John , Guy, Rob and special guest are talented Meersbrook residents
8 Chrystine Moon is another fabulous local musician and singer songwriter.

Below you can see where they will all be playing on this map and also some lovely pictures of the musicians in their element!

Hope to see you there. Don’t forget to sign up! Or simply come along and support the participants and enjoy the fun.

small park BIG RUN magic

Bit by bit the pieces are coming together – more runner registrations this week , a few more marshals (still not enough though: fancy it? And on top of this rather prosaic administrative jigsaw, is a little bit of magic as we start to see and hear all the art and love people bring to make small park BIG RUN such a wonderful event .

Here is a little taste of Body of Sound, who once again will sing at Turners Hill (hopefully not in the rain this year!), at 8pm on Saturday June 18th. You will have to be there to hear more.

You can see the full programme here

Palestinians as refugees, in film

A short programme of films in the walled garden, from Saturday midday till 4 and Sunday 11.30 till 1.30. See our programme

There are many films about Palestinians as refugees, so central has this issue been to the Palestinian experience since 1948 – and some would argue since 1917, when the British mandate started. This selection is inevitably biased: based on what we have easy access to, the available time to review their relevance and a suitable programme length for small park BIG RUN. But we hope it gives the essence and breadth of that experience as well as its contemporary relevance.

The films we are showing have all been made by Badil (badil.org), a refugee rights organisation in the West Bank. Badil make many films and we recommend you review them all! These particular films have been made over a period of time to convey information about the plight of Palestinians as refugees, the theme for small park BIG RUN in 2022.

We start with Nakba in numbers which is a fast paced run through of the numbers of people who were expelled or have been forcibly displaced during the Nakba.

As you will see in the next films, expulsion is an ongoing process and pressures brought to bare on Palestinians by Israel are designed to force them to leave. But their resistance is both courageous and long lived as shown in We Will Never Leave and Here We Will Remain.

For those that live outside of Palestine and Israel, in refugee camps in the Lebanon, life is harsh and the craving to leave to find a better life is the focus of the next two short films: No place to be and Stranded in Lebanon.

Shatila refugee camp

Last but one, we have a longer film (16 minutes), The Sun is Due to Rise. This film takes us through both the initial creation of refugees between 1947 and 1949 and subsequent policies enacted by Israel to force Palestinian people from their homes.

Handala, the iconic character created by Naji al-Ali, demanding the right of return

We finish with a determined cry for the right to return in Why we should return.

We hope these films are informative and inspire you to continue your support for Palestinian people to fight for justice.

The programme is about 40 minutes in length.

Where do Palestinian refugees live?

The theme for small park BIG RUN this year is Palestinians as refugees. It is central to the Palestinian experience. No where is this better expressed than in our interviews with Kholoud and Sahar, who talk in such moving way about the right of return.

Entrance to Aida camp with the iconic key of return laid above

There are diasporas all over the world – the largest outside the middle east is in Chile. But overwhelming refugees are based either in Palestine – also known as Internally Displaced Persons – and surrounding countries

You can find out more about where Palestinian refugees live here and also from Badil, a refugee rights centre in the West Bank.

Throughout small park BIG RUN we will be showing a selection of films from Badil where you can find out more about life as a Palestinian refugee. See our programme

Palestinian refugees – in their own words

small park BIG RUN organisers were enormously privileged to interview two Palestinian refugees earlier this year. The accounts they gave were moving, fascinating, frank, honest and inspiring in equal measure. We are very grateful to them for sharing their personal and painful stories.

  1. Interview with Sahar Awadallah
  2. Interview with Kholoud Al-Ajarma

Sahar Awadallah and Kholoud Al-Ajarma both told of how their families were expelled from their homes seventy years ago – and are still dreaming, three generations later, of their return.

A young Sahar pictured with her mum Reda Nateel, Dad Abdulrahman Awadallah and brother Omar Awadallah.

Sahar spoke of the insecurity she experienced as a child moving multiple times from country to country, with a bag permanently packed ready for the next upheaval. She spoke of her anger that she must seek permission to visit her hometown. And she also spoke of her annoyance at the double standards and hypocrisy that the Russian invasion of Ukraine has again revealed. Where it has now become OK to call for sanctions against a country accused of aggression and occupation – this was not the case for those calling for a boycott of Israeli goods who were often accused of racism and exceptionalism.

Kholoud Al Ajarmah

Kholoud told us of her life – where at first she didn’t realise she was growing up living in a refugee camp, she thought everyone lived like that! But slowly she discovered that although Aida refugee camp was her home, it wasn’t her homeland.

She spoke movingly of the tales her grandparents and parents would tell of their homes, now in Israel, where the cactuses tasted like honey, they ate fresh figs from the trees and they ate fresh bread from the oven. With weekly markets and friendly people all around. This memory stood in stark contrast to the refugee camp she found herself in, with its daily Israeli army raids and the smell of tear gas, rather than fresh bread, in the air.

Kholoud said that that although the stories her family told her seemed to be like fairy tales when she managed to finally visit their family homeland those stories turned out to be true. Beautiful countryside with space to live in, to return to, and air to breath.

You can listen to the interviews in full, by following the links below.

small park BIG RUN would like to thank both Sahar and Kholoud from the bottom of our hearts for their collaboration and cooperation.

  1. Interview with Sahar Awadallah
  2. Interview with Kholoud Al-Ajarma

You can find more information on refugees in Palestine here. And visit Badil (Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights).

small park BIG RUN is with other events

The week before we start the run and for a few weeks after, Sheffield is hosting a couple of major events either about Palestine or refugees.

Palfest is an ambitious festival celebrating Palestine and Palestinian resistance, with Palestinian food, dance and music.

Meanwhile Migration Matters, running from the 17th to the 25th June, is a festival of dance and music and theatre celebrating sanctuary in Sheffield.

Check them out!

Anyone can take part in small park BIG RUN

small park BIG RUN’s theme this year is Palestinians as refugees – and being a refugee is a chucking out and an exclusion – the very opposite of inclusivity.

But for us, inclusivity is at the heart of what the ‘run’ is about.

We want to make sure that anyone can take part in small park BIG RUN: you do not have to run – we have had walkers and hoppers and unicyclists too. And we have had people who need help to get round.

If you think this sort of event is not for you, please think again. We would love to hep you take part. We have an hour on the Saturday (4-5) and an hour on the Sunday (11-12) when we will make sure there will be someone to help.

So if you think you will need help getting round please email or enter here and tick the box ‘I will need support’ and we will get in touch.