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‘This project raises questions about the lived experiences of refugees on the Balkan Migration Route and will present a series of activities that will encourage you to think more deeply about what it means to be a refugee fleeing persecution’.

On walking into the exhibition, I could straight away feel a sense of community and inclusivity. A striking banner that really resonated with me was the one below.

Photo credit: Charlotte Howard

I also was lucky enough to have a friendly welcome from Gemma & Jelena themselves. I then went on the experience the exhibition for what it had to offer. I was presented with a number of shocking images of the conditions and experiences refugees in the modern world face today.

However, despite the negative connotations that come with the refugee crisis. This exhibition really highlights the hope and solidarity worldwide for this ongoing crisis. The international effort of volunteers shows the significance of a simple cup of tea which was illuminated by the quantities of ingredients the ‘NO NAME Kitchen’ uses in squatting communities and refugee camps – spreading warmth and support.

Photo credit: Charlotte Howard

At the end of my visit, I answered a review question: How has the exhibition changed your view or understanding of the “refugee crisis”?

Gemma & Jelena were lovely enough to give a personal talk about the exhibition to my friend & I – thank you for raising awareness of the important cause. As a geographer, I am aware of a lot of these issues, but agree that light needs to be shone on them for the rest of the public.

Unfortunately, the exhibition has come to an end – but look out for the finished product from the conflict embroidery project. Each square aims to represent a person that unfortunately lost their battle as a refugee fleeing persecution. This project has allowed visitors to interact with the exhibition and share their views on the refugee movement.

‘A picture speaks a thousand words’, a quote my friend stated when leaving the exhibition; which was definitely proven by this exhibition.

Photo credit: Charlotte Howard

This project is presented by University of Liverpool, an Associate of Tate Exchange Liverpool, with Gemma Bird (University of Liverpool), Amanda Russell Beattie (Aston University), Patrycja Rozbicka (Aston University) and Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik (Aston University).

Next week the LSradio Politics Hour will be covering the global refugee crisis with a series of posts, covering the US Caravan, the Rohingya refugee crisis, the Balkans route, as well as the International Politics Hour’s interview with Gemma Bird.

Watch out on the LSradio Blog from Monday the 26th of November!

Molly Moe
Charlotte Howard

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