People come to Bristol from all over the world for many different reasons. Most reading this paper have come to Bristol in the hope of getting a good education. Some arrive here in the hope of finding a relaxed yet vibrant city in which to raise a family. Others arrive in the hope of starting new lives entirely, escaping from war or oppression elsewhere. There are many more reasons etched into the city’s past: slavery and the collapse of an empire, to name just two.
Bristol today is a product of that past, and a continuous project in attempting to come to terms with it. In 2007 the city marked the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act with a series of exhibitions, educational projects and community events. And looking to the future, rather than the past, Bristol was last year named a City of Sanctuary: a place proud to offer refuge for those who are no longer safe in their own country.