At the moment I am working on the fifth collaborative and participatory photography exhibition entitled MIGRANTS.
Last year after working with the Syria community in Greece on the project entitled "MIGRANTS: Residents and Volunteers at Ritsona camp", I started to work in this project because I wanted to hear the voices of the Syrian community in the UK.
The word Migrants, is too generic right? It creates a defined division: We are the Migrants, you are the Natives. I want to show this in the exhibition, how we individually, without entering in this division, interpret the word Migrant and what it means to us, asking the question: What does migration mean to you?
The title of this open collaborative and collaborative photography exhibition is "MIGRANTS: Syrians in the UK" The exhibition asks the question: What does home mean to you? and it is open to any Syrian citizen who would like to contribute with a photograph and a piece of text.
The exhibiting photographers are: Luna Al-kkad, Muhammed Shriky, Rayan Azhari, Hamman Alkhalaf, Belal Al Saleh Al Sari, Abdullah Hourani, Abdulaziz Almeshi, Julio Etchart and David Bate.
6.30 pm "Ideas without borders" Introduction by the curator Zia Fernandez-Ibarreche.
7.30 pm Talk by Mohammed Ateeq, from Syria Solidarity Campaign.
The main purpose of the Syria Solidarity Campaign is to amplify the voices of Syrians struggling for peace and freedom. We want to work with all existing campaigns and organisations to help build a campaign that can assist the Syrian people in their struggle for a democratic, just, free and pluralist Syria. In addition, we want to bring Syria’s war criminals to justice.
8.00 pm - Requiem4Grenfell - Poetography by Julio Etchart. Poem recited by Alex Etchart.
I arrived at the burning remains of the Grenfell tower in the London borough of Notting Hill, on the 15th of June of this year, the morning after that appaling accident.
Over the following weeks, I photographed and interviewed neighbours, volunteers, relatives of victims and survivors, trying to put together the pieces of the jigsaw of that terrible event.
I was then moved to write a poem about it, and to illustrate it with some of the images I took over that period of time.
As you can see from one paragraph in the poem, my empathy with the victims has a history, for I was also ‘disappeared’ for months in a secret detention centre during my youth in Uruguay in the 1970s, after protesting against one of the worst Latin American dictatorships of that time. I came here as an exile, and I have a natural affinity with those who have followed a similar path.
The tragedy of Grenfell is that many of the victims of the fire, many of whom came from Syria, were also trying to escape a similar fate, only to end up being erased form the face of the Earth.
I humbly dedicate this ‘poetography’ to their memory
8.30 pm Drinks and Debate.
10.00 pm The end.
Note - The event is free, donations will be collected for the HIVE-Community gallery.