Local refugees' artwork gives asylum seekers a voice

Posted on Tuesday 15th May 2007

Local refugees and asylum seekers in Birmingham have been expressing themselves through art in a bid to put across the feelings they have about the city that has become their home.

University of Birmingham student Sarah Hislam and Refugee Council volunteer Ruth Packer secured Refugee Council funding from the Marsh Christian Trust to run an art project with local asylum seekers and refugees.

In an exhibition entitled 'Birmingham: Drawing Your Own Conclusion', both novice and experienced artists display work which they've been working on for the past three months.

The artwork uses all media from graphic design work, video installations and jewellery to reflect the background of the artists and their experiences of living in Birmingham and of the asylum process.

Sarah Hislam, who is studying for a PhD in the Sociology department at the University, says: "We wanted to help provide the participants with an opportunity to express themselves in a public arena, to educate local people about the skills and diversity that refugees bring to the city, and to help forge links between different refugee artists and the local community."

The exhibition will run at the Central Library gallery space for the whole of May.

ENDS

For further information on the project and the artists behind the work, please contact Sarah Hislam on 07967 660915

For further media information, please contact Anna Mitchell on 0121 414 6029 / 07920 593946, a.i.mitchell@bham.ac.uk