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A New Beginning: Photographic Stories of 10 Refugees Who Started Again

Portraits of those helped by refugee employment charity Breaking Barriers

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London’s leading refugee employment charity Breaking Barriers will hold its annual exhibition at Protein Studios in Shoreditch from 4 to 7 October 2018.

Titled A New Beginning, this year’s exhibition conveys the stories of ten people, via interviews and photographic portraits, who have been supported by the charity.

Refugee Stories Exhibition

Daniel Negassi from Eritrea taken by Campbell Addy. Daniel now works at IKEA, ‘It’s hard to adjust to a totally new place, in ways that I can’t even describe.’

Co-curated by Rebecca McClelland and Breaking Barriers, A New Beginning celebrates photographic stories. Eleven renowned photographers and artists were commissioned to reflect the diversity of refugee experience in the UK. Artists include Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin; Nick Waplington; Caleb Femi; Campbell Addy; Diana Markosian; Jo Metson Scott; Léonie  Hampton; Timur Celikdag; Leon Chew; and Samin Ahmadzadeh.

The series of portraits offers both documentary and fashion photography, breaking down negative and pessimistic stereotypes associated with refugees and displacement. Interviews conducted by award-winning journalist Samira Shackle will be paired with each portrait.

Those featured include a Syrian family arriving in the UK on an official resettlement programme without speaking a word of English; a gay man from Egypt seeking personal freedom; a Yemeni human rights advocate displaced by war; a Kurdish political activist forced to flee from Turkey after being handed a jail sentence in childhood and a teenager from Eritrea making the wildly dangerous, illegal overland journey to Britain.

For many people, finding meaningful employment is vital to a sense of purpose and self-worth. A job is often the linchpin to a new, full life in a safe place for refugees. All of the individuals featured in the exhibition this year have been, or continue to be, supported by Breaking Barriers, who help in the search for meaningful work in line with each individual’s experience and ambition.

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Refugee Stories Exhibition

Mayada Ewad from Sudan shot by Diana Markosian. Mayada now works at Mischon de Reya. ‘[In London] you don’t feel like you are a foreigner, because everyone is from somewhere else.’

When & Where? 4-7 October; Protein Studios, 31 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EY

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