On this page we showcase collections of videos, recordings, word art, photographs, and drawings submitted to this project by contributors from many parts of world. They use any medium and means accessible to them, mostly smartphones, to communicate their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. Contributions are all from asylum seekers and refugees from many parts of the world.
Are you scared?
A different perspective on wearing face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in public places or at work. Refugees are forced to leave their homeland due to threats to their lives. Therefore, they are always anxious. This refugee, who is also a key worker, feels good about wearing a mask. It’s not just a protection from the virus but from other possible threats – even threatening looks or aggression because of the colour of your skin. When the world is in lockdown, it’s the safest moment to go out for refugees and asylum seekers.
Click through to view all of our contributions, each with an interesting story to tell.
It’s so rare that refugees have a real and present platform to express themselves fully and without constraint. This project is not just about asylum seekers or refugees it’s an archive that is being co-created with them and for them. It’s a living archive that will always remain and remind future generations of this very strange moment in time and it will show them how people suffered but also how they worked together to gather and collect these stories of their lives – it’s a living museum.
Sophie De Marco 🌈
Asylum Seeker & Refugee Advice Worker, Asylum Rights Programme
Ethnic Minorities & Youth Support Team Wales (EYST Wales)
Regarding my hopes and dreams, my dearest wish is for the whole world to enjoy peace and safety, ending all wars, and for every child in the world to have the right to life. And my dearest wish for our beloved Syria is that after so much devastation and destruction of our homes, our lives, our history and our culture, that we will be able to leave a Syrian footprint in this world to show the true extent of our culture and our love for the world. And finally, I wish to integrate Arabic and European Culture in my next artworks and I thank this project for supporting me as an artist.
Hassan Al Tabbaa, Graphic Designer, Painter, Sculptor
So many families have had to choose between phone and food during lockdown. Without access to the internet children miss out on schooling, doctor’s and solicitors cannot be contacted, families cannot stay in touch and social isolation has a devastating impact on mental health. This is digital poverty.
Thanuja Hettiarachchi and Kelly Wearing, Asylum Rights Support Workers
Moria Camp, Lesvos, Greece
Photos by journalist Katy Fallon, who reported on the destruction of Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesvos in September. The graffiti ‘Human Rights Graveyard. Welcome to Europe’ sums up the grim reality: tens of thousands condemned to misery in prison-like conditions, just because they want a safe and better life.
Diary reflection on Time
Vicky’s hand-written diary entry dated 21.06.2020 starts by asking us as readers to: think about what you really care about. She ends with:
Now is the time and chance
It’s never too late
Don’t forget to always visit yourself.
Helen commented: The effect is pretty poetic. Something between prose and a poem, perhaps.
Thank you NHS and frontline workers
“My daughter who is staying at home and is unable to go to school due to Covid-19 has seen this poem somewhere online and thought she would write it down and colour it. She has been inspired by the hard work of all frontline workers and told me that she wants to be a nurse when she grows up so she could look after people”.
Eid celebrations in Corona times
World view challenged
Thursday Clapping found us new friends
A satirical combination; material of a well- known comedian and UK government policy.
UK government communication has been the subject of fierce attack from many corners. In particular, the mixed messaging which has been very confusing for British citizens who by and large have abided strictly by the rules. However, as the lockdown has eased, we can see the effects of this mixed messaging in the behaviour of the public where some ignore while others stick by the rules. Further confusion has arisen as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland differ in their lockdown policies. As fears of a second wave rise, the government need to communicate more clearly.
Nation / Imagination
This project shows how our imagination has been unleashed during lockdown. Living with the anxiety of uncertainty and more time on our hands has forced us to think about our lives – past, present and future. But it also makes us think about how we live together and how this virus transcends national borders and how we need global solutions more than ever. Narrow xenophobic nationalism helps no one.
This is not Europe: an apology
drawings & paintings
Fake News and COVID
“The internet has been flooded with lots of fake news about vaccines, medicines, conspiracy theories that left many people even more confused about this very strange virus’’.
Art by Dijwar Ibrahim Siraj
Corona Covid Crown
“During lockdown many people turned to love and lovemaking, creating romantic atmospheres in their homes with scented candles (sales of which soared). These horses are smiling and looking lovingly at one another as did many who found love again in lockdown while others could only hope and dream for it.”
The Holy Trinity
Like many people, Mahsah had many challenges during lockdown to stay safe and avid giving in to depression.
“Many people also turned to religion during lockdown whether by praying or reflecting on the kind of existential questions addressed differently in different religions. Here we see an image of the Holy Trinity emerging from the crucifix.”
Dancing with my daughter
Woman in headdress
“The woman’s eyes are covered, shedding blood for tears yet the face adorned with a magnificent colourful crown.”