Human Rights Solidarity is a registered charity in England & Wales (No: 1201416)

Contacts

1 Northumberland Ave,

London WC2N 5BW

info@hrsolidarity.org

+44 78 5652 3670

Tag: Rwanda

EventsImmigration Committee

‘Exhibition in Exile’ in the most famous streets of London

20 JUNE 2022/LONDON

While the British government was planning to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda, we organised a travelling exhibition at the famous London landmarks to remind the public of the difficulties refugees face on World Refugee Day, on the 20th of June.

While the decision to send asylum seekers to Rwanda was an extensive discussion in the British Parliament, on the occasion of World Refugee Day, on the 20th of June, we organised an exhibition known as the ‘Exhibition in Exile’ of cartoons drawn by world-renowned artists to draw attention to refugee problems. It was a travelling exhibition at famous London landmarks to remind the public of the difficulties refugees face.

The exhibition hosted a selection of the 120 best cartoons selected initially from among 1,200 submissions to a global cartoon contest organised by KYM (Kimse Yok Mu) in 2016. In addition to these cartoons, the cartoon was carried by 25 volunteers, most of whom were also refugees, with successful refugee stories to raise awareness. We moved the cartoon through the British Parliament, Parliament Square, Victoria Tower Garden, and Westminster Bridge.

 

One of the cartoons in the exhibition was by Oleksiy Kustovski that describes how refugees travel thousands of miles alone, carrying their whole lives in a small suitcase. It is sometimes a mother and child, sometimes an unaccompanied child or family, who are fleeing to safety from the dangers of their birth country.

Xavier Bonilla drew the lives lost at sea while fleeing to safety. People are desperately getting into the dangerous waters despite not knowing how to swim, and sometimes the weather conditions or pushbacks don’t let them continue their journey. Only a small number of people survive in a sinking dinghy.

When we told the people who viewed the exhibition what difficulties a refugee went through, we immediately met with their support and their interest became an absolute source of motivation for our new projects.

 

BlogImmigration Committee

Send a message to asylum seekers

By Asiye Betul

This August, me and my activist friends found each other in a state of despair and overwhelmed by the events happening throughout the year. It wasn’t only a disgraceful year for our government, which would send asylum seekers to Rwanda if they had not been stopped by activists, lawyers and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). But also for British law and human rights. Also, as immigrants who have faced injustices by the state and knew what it was like to be alienated and discriminated between our communities, we knew we could never stay silent to another person facing the same thing. And we decided it was time to take action.

 We stood in Trafalgar square with our “Justice Wall”, a 1.8-meter tall wall made out of fabric, where we promote free speech and demand all human rights. This time our Justice Wall was themed after asylum seekers and refugees still facing discrimination by our Home Office and Government. We aimed not only to demand their justice but also to deliver messages of support and solidarity to them. Central London, especially Trafalgar square, which is located near Soho and Westminster, was the perfect location.

 We had children coming up to our wall and leaving welcoming messages for asylum seekers, toddlers drawing hearts and people hand to hand (which was my absolute favourite part of this project), tourists leaving messages of solidarity in their own languages, and many supportive messages such as “Do not dare give up” and “You are loved, and welcomed”.

 This project might not sound like a very big deal at first, but for me, it was London and the people of London showing their true faces. It was London telling us that, despite its government, we are welcome, and If there we were in a place of danger and discrimination, the people of London would not stay silent and stand up for us. An act of solidarity on its own.

Injustices may rise, but we will not prevail. The names of those who do injustice will be forgotten, but our strength and solidarity will always be remembered. So will we 🙂