Category Archives: arts

#RefugeeWeek #exhibition “Committed To Represent” at Manchester Central Library by #VirtualMigrants

The “Committed To Represent” exhibition by Virtual Migrants for Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) was exhibited at the youth-led Routes To Roots event on Monday 9th June at the Central Library, for Refugee Month.  The event was organised by Team V Manchester to ‘celebrate Manchester’s cultural diversity and challenge misconceptions around immigration’.

Here are some photos of how it looked:

This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired. The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme. Please contact virtual migrants via www.virtualmigrants.net or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information along with previews of the exhibition are available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.
www.virtualmigrants.net     www.gmiau.org

Advertisements

Committed To Represent exhibition with Refugee Boy play 1st-3rd April at Waterside Arts Centre

Refugees and legal support pop-up exhibition
on show with Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah

banner_2x1m_se

1st – 3rd April 2014, at Waterside Arts Centre, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, M33 7ZF

Open to view from 1pm on Tues 1st and Thurs 3rd, and from 3.30pm on Weds 2nd. Tel. 0161 912 5616

How does the legal work of the GMIAU (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit) help refugees to rebuild their lives? What motivates the caseworkers? How do refugees respond to the challenges that the asylum system throws at them?

This exhibition is a celebration of the work that caseworkers do and a testament to the courage of refugees and people seeking asylum. It consists of photography and texts as a series of 12 portable panels by the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and Virtual Migrants.

REFUGEE BOY – a play based on the novel by Benjamin Zephaniah, is on stage at the Waterside Arts Centre 1-3 April. Adapted for the stage by Lemn Sissay. Gail McIntyre (West Yorkshire Playhouse Associate Director) brings together the work of two of the UK’s most prolific and revered poets, Benjamin Zephaniah and Lemn Sissay in a heartbreaking and hilarious production that pulses with energy, love, loss and hope. http://watersideartscentre.co.uk/whats-on/1371-benjamin-zephaniahs-refugee-boy/

A special talk about the Committed To Represent exhibition by Denise McDowell (the director of GMIAU) will take place on Wednesday 2nd April at 6.20pm, before the performance at 7pm.

This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired. The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme. Please contact virtual migrants via www.virtualmigrants.net or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information along with previews of the exhibition are available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.
www.virtualmigrants.net     www.gmiau.org

 

Committed To Represent #refugee and legal support exhibition available for use

CommittedRepresent_B+W_s

How does the legal work of the GMIAU (Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit) help refugees to rebuild their lives? What motivates the caseworkers? How do refugees respond to the challenges that the asylum system throws at them? This exhibition is a celebration of the work that caseworkers do and a testament to the courage of refugees and people seeking asylum.

An exhibition of photography and texts as a series of 12 portable panels by the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit, in partnership with Virtual Migrants. This exhibition is available for borrowing or hire (if you have available funds), and a speaker can be provided if desired.  The panels can be set up to accompany any relevant event or activity involving an audience, or cultural / artistic programme.  Please contact us or contact GMIAU directly via www.gmiau.org .

More information is available at http://virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent .  A gallery showing all of the panels is available to view right now at www.virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent/gallery , and photographs of the panels exhibited in various venues can be seen at www.virtualmigrants.net/committedtorepresent/exhibitionphotos. These will give a good idea of what the exhibition is and how it can be presented.

Design and direction by Kooj Chuhan. Research and text by Ursula Sharma. Photography by Mazaher.

Statement from GMIAU at their 2014 AGM:

We are in very turbulent times. During the past 12 months legal aid has been removed for most immigration cases and the government is ‘consulting’ on the next set of cuts which will include further restrictions on access to the law, including judicial review and appeals, and the insidious ‘residency test’. The Immigration Bill has been introduced and if it get passed as it is it will include duties on landlords and banks to check the immigration status of potential tenants and customers. Immigration will once again be top of the political agenda in the run up to general election in 2015 and none of the public debate about immigration is positive. This makes it even more difficult for the people that GMIAU is here to support and represent – not just in a legal sense but also to stand up against the injustice and discrimination that is the reality of many peoples day to day lives.

We need our supporters more than ever. We need to work together to steer the organisation through these challenging times, to make sure not only that we survive but that we’re stronger and louder than before in our defence of access to justice and human rights. Please come and join us on the 25th need to be doing over the next year and beyond to make sure we stay at the forefront of creating a better and more positive contribution to the lives of people in the North West who need immigration legal advice and representation.

banner_2x1m_se

Committed To Represent exhibition at GMIAU’s AGM

The Committed To Represent exhibition by Virtual Migrants will be shown at the Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit’s Annual General Meeting on Saturday 25th January 2014.  Created by Kooj Chuhan with Ursula Sharma (GMIAU) along with photography by Mazaher, this exhibition celebrates the critical work of legal caseworkers in the difficult lives of refugees.  This from GMIAU’s news-mail:

GMIAU AGM and Public Meeting Saturday 25th January 2014 2.30pm
F
riends Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester M2 5NS (behind Central Library)
banner_2x1m_se

Our exhibition ‘Committed To Represent’ will be displayed

A number of invited speakers will contribute to the discussions.

Drinks and light refreshments will be available.

We are in very turbulent times. During the past 12 months legal aid has been removed for most immigration cases and the government is ‘consulting’ on the next set of cuts which will include further restrictions on access to the law, including judicial review and appeals, and the insidious ‘residency test’. The Immigration Bill has been introduced and if it get passed as it is it will include duties on landlords and banks to check the immigration status of potential tenants and customers. Immigration will once again be top of the political agenda in the run up to general election in 2015 and none of the public debate about immigration is positive. This makes it even more difficult for the people that GMIAU is here to support and represent – not just in a legal sense but also to stand up against the injustice and discrimination that is the reality of many peoples day to day lives.

We need our supporters more than ever. We need to work together to steer the organisation through these challenging times, to make sure not only that we survive but that we’re stronger and louder than before in our defence of access to justice and human rights. Please come and join us on the 25th need to be doing over the next year and beyond to make sure we stay at the forefront of creating a better and more positive contribution to the lives of people in the North West who need immigration legal advice and representation .

audience+maz

Re-Presenting Refugees: discussion starting points

audience+mazThe discussion focus on 30th Oct 2013 is around representation, definition and mobilisation. Here follows a list of questions which Kooj is using as starting points:

– to what extent do or should the arts practices under a ‘refugee’ umbrella represent a distinct sector, what are its identifying characteristics and what can this achieve?

– what are the limitations or problems with such initiatives?

– how does such work support and progress wider discussions around support for refugees and human rights?

– the way people seeking refuge are treated continues to move towards tighter restrictions, reduced sympathy and rights, greater destitution, racism and xenophobia. Is art at its limit in being able to influence such developments, or does our game need to change?

– what kind of a sector is it or should it become – a loose movement or an organised set of voices?

– is there a challenge to established modes of practice that such work presents, and in what ways?

– what kinds of practice might be of particular importance in developing such a sector?

– presentation of arts works in relation to refugees can often label themselves and dig their own corner of predictable narratives and styles – which in turn can stereotype themselves. In what ways can arts practices avoid such predictability?

If anyone has any responses to these, feel free to add your comments by clicking on ‘reply’.

“Life Without Papers” wins Best Writing Award (cross-post from ASHA blog)

The following was originally posted on ASHA’s blog at http://ashamanchester.wordpress.com/  on October 17, 2013 by tonyopenshaw :

The blog project, “Life Without Papers”, created by Len Grant, features stories of undocumented migrant families and young people. Undocumented migrants have nothing. They are not allowed to work. They have no right to state benefits nor to a place to live. They are unseen and potentially the most vulnerable group in the UK today.

Undocumented (or irregular) migrants include those trafficked into the sex trade or for domestic servitude; they include visa overstayers; those whose asylum applications have been refused and others who have been subject to failures in the immigration system. All of these may originally have come to the UK legally.

‘Illegal immigrants’ – those imagined to have entered the country in Continue reading

audience+maz

RE-PRESENTING REFUGEES: discussion, performance, exhibition

90 Degree Citizen exhibition project:
Special Event on Weds 30th October, 6pm – 9pm, at Manchester Museum

>> RE-PRESENTING REFUGEES panel discussion <<
>>
PASSENGER 12 multimedia performance <<
>>
COMMITTED TO REPRESENT exhibition premiere – open to view from 5pm <<

audience+maz_IMG_2284_cropWide_v2_se

A range of key speakers and artists explore critical issues around art, displacement and refugees.  As a dynamic movement, alternative practices and perspectives, cultural resistance or affirmation, political and historical contexts.  Open to the public on the eve of the Platforma national conference on arts and refugees.  A Virtual Migrants event www.virtualmigrants.net .

Discussion begins 7.20pm – panel includes:

Flora Alexander – Iranian visual artist based in Glasgow
Yusra Warsama – poet, playwright and actor from Somalia
Tom Green – director of Platforma national network of arts and refugees
Humberto Velez – international visual, media and performance artist
Isobel Bowler – legal case worker at GM Immigration Aid Unit
Iseult Timmermans – artist and creative producer with refugee groups at Street Level Photoworks
Discussion chaired by Kooj Chuhan – artist and cultural producer; founder of Virtual Migrants and director of 90 Degree Citizen

Multimedia experimental performance: part 1 begins 7pm with part 2 after the discussion – includes artists:

Sai Murray (writer, poet, spoken word)
Maya Chowdhry (performer, writer, multimedia and interactive artist)
Aidan Jolly (composer-songwriter and musician)
Tracey Zengeni (vocalist)
Mazaher (VJ projections)
Elmi Ali (writer, poet, spoken word)
Pat Mackela (drums and percussion)

Committed To Represent – exhibition premiere with talks about the work at 6pm including special guest Mavis Makhaza from Gtr Manchester Immigration Aid Unit and WAST (Women Asylum Seekers Together):

Portable panels of photography and text, portraying the people behind the labels – our unsung heroes the legal immigration caseworkers and those who have needed their support. Created by Kooj Chuhan, Ursula Sharma and Mazaher, as a partnership project between GM Immigration Aid and Virtual Migrants.  This is a pop-up exhibition only on show until 1st November in the Kanaris Foyer at the museum.

This event is a part of the 90 Degree Citizen exhibition, on show from 10th October – 17th November at Manchester Museum, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

FREE to attend, but please register at www.re-presentingrefugees.eventbrite.co.uk

The café will be open during this event for food and drinks.  Light refreshments provided.  All timings are approximate.

logo Banner funders

90 Degree Citizen – installing the exhibition

4bAmang Mardokhy arrives at Manchester Museum to install his paintings for 90 Degree Citizen – A rare exhibition of work by a new wave of visual artists whose experiences include life as refugees in the UK, and engaging with objects from The Manchester Museum.

“I have come from Kurdistan, north part of Iraq. Since the early start of my art experience, I also have learned how to live and express the sufferings of Continue reading