World Refugee Day: Celebrating Refugees


Written by Gabriel Mathews
20 Tuesday 20th June 2017

When refugees are discussed in the media it is often shrouded by negativity. This has only been fueled by our moronic selfish representatives telling us to ‘tighten our borders’ and keep out those pesky refugees to benefit their own interests around Brexit.


The negative attitude towards refugees shows no sign of decreasing any time soon, especially given the the various attacks throughout London. But it is telling, that in the few instances there has been positive media attention regarding refugees, and at times the public reaction has been one of overwhelming understanding and empathy. For example the coverage of Yusra Mardini’s unique story was met with admiration or the mosque's response to the Finsbury Park attack. Through all the negativity there are more positive refugee stories that often go unreported. Here are a few:


Dam Van Huynh

Originally from Southern Vietnam, Dam Van Huynh is a UK based dancer/choreographer. As a child refugee, his family and he fled Vietnam after the war and settled in the USA where Dam was raised. He founded his own company in 2008, Van Huynh Company. His style of work has always reflected his deep interest in redefining the body and its movement capability.


Margareta Kern


Grew up in Bosnia-Herzegovina (at the time part of Yugoslavia), and in 1992 due to war migrated to the UK. She  is a visual artist and lecturer at Falmouth University, working in photography, video and animation. Her research-led practice explores ideologies that shape our political agencies and subjectivities.



Kamaleshwaran Selladurai


Is a Tamil refugee from Sri Lanka who spent over two years in Australian detention centres. During that time he taught himself to paint, having never attempted to make art before. Kamalesh was granted a permanent visa in 2011 and now lives and works in Western Sydney.



Mahmoud Salameh


A Palestinian refugee from Syria who was in Australian detention centres for 17 months. He worked as a professional cartoonist in Syria and is a fascinating exponent of the subversive tradition of Arab political cartooning.


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