The Guardian: Smug ideas festivals in refugee camps can’t mask the grim reality

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has just co-hosted a festival, the TEDxKakumaCamp, the first-ever TEDx event held in a refugee camp. The talks were organised under the euphoric theme of “Thrive” and promised to tell “stories that uplift and inspire not just the communities that host them but the entire world”.

This theme was in keeping with the TED brand, which typically consists of speakers narrating their personal journeys of discovery to inspire audiences. Rather than being held in a conference centre of a major world city, however, this event took place in one of Africa’s oldest and largest refugee camps, which houses nearly 150,000 people in north-western Kenya.

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