The annual exhibition by Breaking Barriers, the UK’s leading refugee employment charity, tells the incredible stories of refugees through the everyday objects they saw as important to their experiences. This year’s show was co-curated by actress and activist Juliet Stevenson, who is the charity Ambassador.
In a series of portrait photographs and searingly honest interviews, 10 Breaking Barriers clients tell the stories of their lives, the journeys they undertook to come to the UK and their hopes for the future. All are refugees or come from a refugee background, having escaped persecution or sought asylum while living in the UK after learning of violent unrest back home. Every person’s story is in equal parts harrowing and uplifting; the objects they chose represent their sense of belonging in new communities, reflecting their values and dreams.
From symbolic birds in a testament to freedom, to swimming medals and ballroom dancing shoes in recognition of achievement past and present, each piece is unique to the individual. The exhibition provides critical insight into the real lives, struggles and triumphs that lie behind the (often fear-mongering) headlines.
The refugee crisis is one of the biggest issues of our time. breaking Barriers’ Exhibition highlights the real people behind ht headlines. I am so proud to have curated this collection of extraordinary images and stories, which show the lives of ordinary people forced into refugee status by events far beyond their control. Each image captures the personality, experiences and aspirations of real refugees in London today. – Juliet Stevenson
29 October – 2 November 2019, 11am – 6pm
Proud Central Gallery, 32 John Adam St, Charing Cross, London WC2N 6BP
The exhibition is free to attend, but you can help Breaking Barriers continue their important work providing support and employment to refugees by donating through breaking-barriers.co.uk