Funded by Near Neighbours, this exhibition is the result of a project by artist Mussarat Rahman and brings together a group of refugees and asylum seekers from Leeds and Bradford, providing them with an opportunity to share their experiences and vulnerabilities through creativity.
This exhibition explores the opportunity to Humanise refugees and asylum seekers rather than depicting them as victims. The work explores positive emotions, mental health and well-being including feelings of joy, love, passion, happiness, pleasure and more.
Marginalised communities are at the heart of this exhibition including the deaf and it provides a platform to showcase the positive contribution made to British society. Mussarat believes that, by show-casing positive integration and contribution, we constantly challenge the stereotyping within the media and importantly challenge people’s negative perceptions, reminding every one that we are all Human and have more in common than not.
This work challenges racist and homophobic stereotypes which has significantly increased since the vote for BREXIT, challenging the constant racist under-tone about newly arriving migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Humanising is a timely reminder of the impact of legislation such as the recent Nationality and Borders Bill, calling on us all, to think of all our neighbours as our community, and the importance of working together to champion change and rise above the negative stereotyping creating division between communities.
The exhibition runs from 6 - 24 June as part of National Refugee Week 2022. Look out for the opening event to meet the creators and a creative workshop with the artist.