Portraits Challenge Negative Stereotypes Around Refugees

A new photographic exhibition features portraits of 10 refugees now living in the UK. They describe the lives they have left behind, the challenges they have faced here and their dreams for the future

They hail from all corners of the world, with wildly different stories, but they share a common passion: to challenge the pessimistic stereotypes that are often associated with refugees in the UK.

From a gay man from Egypt who sought personal freedom in Britain to a Yemeni human rights advocate displaced by war, 10 refugees are featured in total. A New Beginning is organised by refugee employment charity Breaking Barriers and is on display at Protein Studios in Shoreditch, London, from tomorrow (4 October) until 7 October.

“At times, the images and stories describe harrowing journeys and challenging circumstances, but also show startling human resilience, and the hope and optimism that can emerge from personal connections,” said Matthew Powell, founder and CEO of Breaking Barriers.

Each refugee was interviewed by journalist Samira Shackle before having his or her portrait taken by photographers, from documentary to fashion specialists. The subjects also include a Kurdish political activist who was forced to flee Turkey after being handed a jail sentence in childhood, a teenager who Eritrea who made the dangerous and illegal overland journey to Britain, and a Syrian family who arrived in the UK on an official resettlement programme – without speaking a word of English.

The exhibition was co-curated by Rebecca McClelland.

Below are stories from three of the people featured in A New Beginning.

Read full article here.