See our photos – share our experiences

A new photography exhibition showcasing work produced and curated by a group from Jesuit Refugee Service UK is due to open on 26 June in central London.

Come and see…Refugee Voices is being presented in association with Fotosynthesis. Over a period of 12 weeks, a group of nine individuals from different countries with diverse ways of seeing their lives came together to learn new photography skills and to share their perspectives. Their insights and personal experiences shape this exhibition as an expression of both themselves as individuals and the world around them.

“I would like people to come and see my pictures and the parts of London that they have never seen before,” said one of the refugee photographers. “I am proud of my work and to have been part of this project… It gave me back my confidence,” said another.

Kate Monkhouse from JRS-UK says the exhibition does far more than just offer participants information about photography and photographic skills. ”The collective works of the individual photographers creates an exhibition that expands people’s minds,” she says. “Visitors gain knowledge about life in other countries and are given explanations into the ideas and stories behind the pictures.”

Ingrid Guyon from Fotosynthesis Community, JRS-UK’s partner agency, says that it is very important that everyone on the photography course is engaged and it is not like a college class. “We do teach photography; but it’s more about the meaning of the pictures,” she explains. ”When you say things to people, it is to really encourage them to believe that they can do it and that it doesn’t matter to us if they are refugees or not. We don’t treat them like that, but we understand their personal circumstances, so we always listen to what they have to say. We never ask them about their own stories. Sometimes they want to tell us, but it’s up to them.”

The exhibition will follow Refugee Week 2014 (16 - 22 June) and will take place at Lumen Gallery, Church & Café, 88 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RS. The Preview Evening will be on Thursday 26 June 2014, 6pm - 8pm and the Exhibition itself will run from Friday 27 June to Thursday 10 July 2014, weekdays 8am – 4pm. A Gallery Tour with contributors followed by afternoon tea will take place on Saturday 5 July 2014, 3-5pm.   ComeAndSeeJRSFotosynthesisPhotoExhibitionInvite2014pdfweb.pdf

The exhibition will be available for parishes in the autumn - along with a speaker from JRS-UK. If you would like to book it, contact Kate Monkhouse on 020 7488 7310.  

Jesuit Refugee Service UK welcomes people who are seeking asylum and supports their efforts in their search for hope, peace and security. It helps them overcome the obstacles they face to build a new life. The asylum seekers JRS UK works with have no recourse to public benefits or accommodation and no permission to work. Having left home and loved ones, they often face official and public hostility here in the UK. 

Fotosynthesis is a not-for-profit organisation that uses participatory photography to develop skills, give a voice to people and encourage community cohesion. Its facilitators actively support and share their professional experiences and create a welcoming environment, and ensure workshops focused on the needs and aspirations of participants. 

This project has been made possible with thanks to grants from Awards For All and the Jesuit Social Justice Fund, with donations from individual supporters.