The Space Between

CARA presents ‘The Space Between’, a week long photographic exhibition to mark Refugee Week which provides women refugee academics who hail from Iraq to Palestine, Burma to Burundi, the opportunity to share the story of their journey to the UK.

Commissioned by Birkbeck College, the exhibition will feature photographic art of Kay Goodridge supported by recorded excerpts of the women speaking about their experiences and explore the theme of displacement. The exhibition will highlight the power of education and the courage of the women in their flight from persecution.

Located in the historic heart of many refugee communities, Brick Lane in East London, the exhibition will be held in the beautiful non-profit arts centre, The Rag Factory. The area has seen refugees since the arrival of the French Huguenots in the 17th century to the Jewish immigrants of the 1800s right up until the most recent arrival of the Bangladeshi community, so it is well placed for such an event.

The richly layered artworks will tell the story of the strength it takes to uproot oneself from a life and the harsh realities of starting again in an entirely new culture, made harder still by the double burden of being female and a refugee. The message of the exhibition will be sobering yet redemptive and take steps towards promoting tolerance and understanding some of the reasons why people seek asylum.

"The Space Between represents an absence of belonging and of existing in between two different cultures."

Lunchtime talks

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of lunch-time talks by five different female refugees detailing their particular experiences as refugees in the UK. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the real lives often obscured by tabloid stereotypes of refugees as ‘undeserving’. Refugees have much to contribute to our country and the exhibition and accompanying talks hope to promote their influence in UK intellectual life.

17th June 2013, 1pm

How I Became an Asylum Seeker: Staging the Refugee Academic Experience - Lydia Besong

A talk by Cameroonian Playwright and former English Lecturer who was forced to flee to Britain’s shores following her peaceful politicalprotests in her home country. Discussing the many barriers facedby academics and how her ordeal has influenced her creatively.

18th June 2013, 1pm

Female and Foreign: Experiences of Being a Refugee Woman - Marjorie Nshemere Ojule 

Marjorie is a Ugandan Refugee who fled persecution in her homecountry. The talk will discuss the issues that women refugees face because of their gender and how her experiences as a female asylum seeker spurred her on to help others.

19th June 2013, 1pm

The Story of Asylum: An LGBT Campaigner - Prossy Kakooza

Prossy is a Ugandan activist and LGBT campaigner who claimed asylum in the UK after being persecuted for her sexuality. The talk will focus on her work to educate people on LGBT rights and the plight of LGBT refugees.

20th June 2013, 1pm

Refugee and the Community: Leaders in Diaspora Communities21 June, 1pm - Cynthia Masiyiwa.

Cynthia is an award winning young community leader who fled her native Zimbabwe at 15 years old. A known voice in her community, she works hard to negotiate asylum policy. Discussing education,youth community work and her experience as an asylum seeker.

21st June 2013, 1pm

Talking about Jane Austen in Baghdad Reading and book signing20 June, 1pm - May Wit Wit

May is an Iraqi lecturer who fled Baghdad at the height of violence following the war with the help of a BBC correspondent and CARA. May will have a short reading from her bestselling novel,‘Talking About Jane Austen in Baghdad.’


The exhibition ends Saturday 22nd June 2013.



The Rag Factory
16-18 Heneage Street
E1 5LJ