BB Exhibit 2018

A New Beginning

A New Beginning cocurated by Rebecca McClelland and Breaking Barriers, celebrates the power of photography as a medium of agency change. Eleven renowned photographers and artists have been commissioned to visually reflect on the diverse character of the refugees’ experience in the UK.

Through a series of portraits breaking the limits between documentary and fashion photography, the studio and the street, the images produced challenge negative and pessimistic stereotypes associated with the representation of refugees and offer an alternative way of thinking about their individual stories and cultures, adversities, hopes and subjectivities.

Interviews were conducted with the refugees and shared with the practitioners prior to the image making process. The accounts, instead of being articulated around a single topic, reflect on the multiple meanings associated with loss, trauma, longing for home, but also overcoming, survival and positivity. The great variety of portraits selected in this exhibition echoes the range of photographic approaches developed by each practitioner, as well as the intimate story of each portrayed.

By pairing photographers and artists who made the UK their home with individuals engaged in a similar process, A New Beginning aims to break with a heavily defined and monolithic representation of refugees and displacement through creative and collaborative images.