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The Gallery

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.

Videos
photography

Celebrating Eid August 2020: My Monster Eyes

Baazigh Amjad, 6 years old, created his Monster Eyes to celebrate Eid. “We focus on enjoyment, forgiveness, and feasting. We start the day with a special breakfast and exchange presents. Normally, we visit relatives and have fun but under lockdown, celebrations were confined to the home. We painted our faces and shared them with our friends on WhatsApp which was exciting for children as they competed to be the scariest.”

Thank you NHS and care workers

A colourful house in South Wales supporting the NHS and care workers.

Vandalising the homes of those who support refugees on Lesvos

Racist attacks are on the rise across Europe. Doorways of refugee support workers in Greece daubed with red paint. Reminiscent of times of plague when it was common to mark the doors of victims of the disease with in red paint.

Please see our blog “Spiral of Hate: Lockdown on Lesvos” by Lena Altinglou.

Ramadan Under Lockdown - Children's home made mosques

1/3: This is a series of three images of children’s home made mosques – during Ramadan under lockdown. Visits to the mosque were impossible. This brother and his sister decided to build a home made mosque constructing it out of card board boxes. They began by creating a cardboard cut out.

Ramadan Under Lockdown - Children's home made mosques

2/3: Keeping children occupied and entertained at home during lockdown was not easy. By the time Eid arrived they had been cooped up for nearly two months. We couldn’t go to the mosque or to the shops, so we had to think creatively and recycle what we had at home. We decided to use cardboard boxes to make our own Mosque. We surprised ourselves at how good it turned out and we had great fun in the process.

Ramadan Under Lockdown - Children's home made mosques

3/3: We got the idea to make a home-made mosque from our friends. They shared their plans and photos with us on WhatsApp. We didn’t have a lot of space in our living room or a lot of cardboard but we had paints and coloured paper to make a mini mosque. We all shared photos of our home-made mosques and  had a Zoom Party with friends. It wasn’t as good as seeing them but it was better than nothing.

World Beyond Fence

Usually I’m desperate to go out, I can jump over this fence, or break the panels, to escape, but today I want to stay in way behind the fence, to avoid people pass by, I may need to have a thicker net, the world has become stand still, the grass is definitely greener this side!
(An asylum seeker in Swansea)

Lockdown workspaces at home

Lockdown photo by a refugee family from Kenya. “Our homes have been turned into schools and offices spaces but space is precisely the issue. Living in very small flats, it’s not been easy. We managed to carve out space to do schoolwork. But it’s hard to concentrate at home, someone is always on the phone talking, watching TV or listening to music. I’m lucky to have a computer and wifi. Many friends don’t. They miss out on a lot of schooling under lockdown.”

Support the NHS (a rainbow dress for Cindy)

This Kyrgyz asylum seeking family are shielding under lockdown. The mother has made her 5 year old daughter a rainbow Cindy dress to support the NHS.

Where has all the toilet paper gone?

“One thing that I still can’t understand is why one of the very first items that disappeared from the shelves was toilet paper. Since mid March I have seen many many people buying large quantities of toilet paper. This week I was going for grocery shopping and I realised that all the toilet paper disappeared from the shelves. The only toilet paper I saw was of a graffiti that recently appeared in one of my local streets’’.

Ramadan in the time of Covid-19

“Ramadan is a very special time for our family. Each year we wait patiently for this holy and blessed month to come. It is a time where we all come together and celebrate what we have and appreciate Allah’s blessings. It is a time where we contemplate and think about the people who are struggling in their lives. We are separated from our loved ones, we are separated from our community. May Allah grant us all patience and may this test come to an end soon.”

Freedom Air

Armando took a shot of himself taking a “deep breath of freedom”. Armando and his family are asylum seekers looking for protection after fleeing from gangs in El Salvador.

Wordart

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

The 2020 festival of Eid-Ul-Adha (30 July- 3 August) was scuppered due to last minute government lockdown policy in parts of Northern England – home to many of the largest Muslim populations. The announcement was made just two hours before Eid celebrations. This meant that for many Muslims Eid celebrations were cancelled, leading to much disappointment. So why the government left it so late unclear – like many of their policies.

World view challenged

Sergio is a black American citizen but born and raised in Venezuela. He migrated looking for a better future for his family. He is a mental health professional and reflects about COVID and lockdown impact in his clients specially BAME communities.

Thursday Clapping found us new friends

“It was a good experience for me. Before the pandemic I didn’t have any idea about my neighbours. Now we are clapping NHS each Thursday, and while clapping I met with my neighbours. Each week they prepare something for my children. One week squash and haribo. One week they gave colouring books and pencils.”

Out Out

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

Pandemic graffiti seen in South Wales during COVID-19.
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

On the external borders of Europe, tens of thousands of refugees’ lives are suspended in limbo while they await their asylum claims to be processed. Greece, Italy and Spain have had to bear the brunt of pitiful European migration policies while European Member states, with few exceptions, turn a blind eye to their problems. The European Union was set up to espouse certain values. The Europe that is keeping refugees caged like animals in camps like Moria is not the Europe envisaged when the EU was set up.
Recordings

Syrian family sharing experiences of Covid-19 Test

A Syrian woman who currently resides in England shares her thoughts on Cov-19 and what it means to her and her family.


Facing quarantine alone in Colombia

Yesenia shares her testimonial about living during the pandemic in Colombia with her child. A touching story and expression of emotions.

Can’t Plan

A staff member of Public Health Wales, originally from Africa talks about her own experience in work and private life during the lockdown.

Public Health Wales and Black Lives Matters

A staff member of Public Health Wales, originally from Africa talks about her own experience in work and private life during the lockdown.

l
drawings

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

The dilemma between security vs. freedom is expressed by Deborah Garcia in this beautiful ink art. Deborah is a young Venezuelan artist living in Spain after all her family faced political persecution and fled from Venezuela.

Entrapment

A line drawing showing the immense stress and struggle of being locked in by a young asylum seeking mother, recently moved to a place where she knows no one, is frightened and isolated and cannot access support.

Confinement

In this moving image a young asylum seeker from Pakistan depicts her sense of confinement by sketching a song bird with its wings bound tight to its body. It is perched on the edge of a diving board.

Loving Horses

Mansoureh (Mahsah) Koohnab fled Iran due to religious persecution (she is a Christian) and has been living in Swansea for the last 10 months awaiting her asylum claim to be processed.
“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

Mahsah had to leave her 6-year old daughter behind in Iran when she fled. This leaves an intolerable sense of pain from which painting only provides temporary relief. Here we see Mahsah dancing with her daughter. Her daughter reaches out for her mother while Mahsah’s hands are reaching up to the sky searching for freedom. This is their shared tragedy.

Woman in headdress

After she was given paints by Jill Duarte at the Africa Community Centre, the pleasures of painting helped her cope. These are Maseh’s lockdown paintings in which she explores the many regions of her imagination through painting, capturing fantasies, dreams and nightmares.
“The woman’s eyes are covered, shedding blood for tears yet the face adorned with a magnificent colourful crown.”

Pink flowers block print

Neja is a gifted young artist. She is a member of the Kids Art Club (see blog) that meets on Zoom every Saturday since lockdown. Her work combines a deftness of draughtsmanship, a sensitivity to colour and a skill in manging materials well beyond her age. On this website you will see many such gifted artists and creative people whose work we celebrate.
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