A fabulous night at The Art House, with the opening of the exhibition “This Is My Home Now”
The book, This my home now, edited by Judith Heneghan is part of a multimedia exhibition sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund and two local charities, Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) and City Life Education and Action for Refugees (CLEAR).
The exhibition opened today (21 June) at The Art House Gallery in Southampton to coincide with Refugee Week (20-26 June) and runs until the end of July.
“This is my home now contains first-hand accounts of asylum seekers and refugees in order to convey their experiences both before and since their arrival in the UK,” explained author Judith, who has been working alongside Project Manager Maianna Moreau and BBC journalist Jenny Cuffe, who devised the project.
Stories include details of 90 year old Rose Dawson who fled the Nazis and came to Southampton in 1939 as a lady’s maid and Osman Bah who was 16 when he escaped civil war in Sierra Leone.
“The response from the participants has been overwhelmingly positive,” added Judith. “They recount their moving, distinctive and often painful stories with great dignity. I have learned a tremendous amount about the power of personal testimony as well as the responsibilities of those who process such information. It has been hugely rewarding to be part of this truly collaborative project.”
The exhibition features photographs by Fang Gleizes and a Talking Globe, devised by Adam Hendler of Visible Ideas Ltd, which allows visitors to hear extracts from interviews with the refugees at the same time as pinpointing their countries of origin.
The original audio recordings by Jenny Cuffe and a team of volunteers from SWVG will be given to Southampton City Council for its sound archive.