There’s a second chance to see the Tracing Presence exhibition featuring paintings of asylum seeking women who have stayed with the Boaz Trust.
Tracing presence is a series of large-scale portraits developed by Manchester based artist Elizabeth Kwant during her time with the Boaz Trust. Elizabeth’s work questions the fragility of existence, at once beautiful yet haunting. Presence and absence coexist in a tenuous relationship, inviting and disquieting, whilst embodying the paradox of life as an asylum seeker in the UK. A pre-determined position, on the outskirts of society, powerlessness, depression, fragility… Dignified? Strong? Beautiful? Present yet unseen, categorised yet unnamed. To be, but to have no voice, having life but waiting to live it.
The exhibition will be at Z-Arts Centre in Hulme, Manchester as part of refugee week.
Opening night is on 6 June at 6pm. There will be an artist talk on 13 June at 6 pm, with the exhibition running until 29 June.
Click here for more details and directions.
Mark Cloherty, Boaz Chief Executive, will be speaking at the Urbis Research Forum’s next event on Thursday 28 February at 6pm. There will be talks from researchers and academics on the topic of refuge. All are welcome and entrance is free.
Cities of Refuge
6pm, Thursday, 28 February 2013
113-115, Portland Street
Asylum and refuge are highly contested and often politicised topics. Successive UK governments have promised to “get tough” on immigration which often leads to the targeting of a precarious population of asylum seekers and refugees who are unable to return to their country of nationality. Negative rhetoric, including the term “bogus asylum seeker”, and tactics such as the dispersal and detention of asylum seekers are deployed as a result. This session of the Urbis Research Forum intends to explore these topics from an alternative angle, looking at how activist and faith based organisations respond to the problems faced by asylum seekers and refugees. Bringing together a panel of academics, researchers and activists this session also explores the experience and links between asylum and the city, including Manchester.
Jonathan Darling (University of Manchester)
Mark Cloherty (Boaz Trust)
Mark Rainey (Goldsmiths / Queen Mary)
We’re already signed up to the ‘Women’s Asylum Charter‘, a campaign launched by Asylum Aid last year, but this week we are joining with Asylum Aid and Refugee Council to invite you to contact your local MP about the campaign too!
The premise of the Charter is simple- that asylum-seeking women must be protected from violence in the UK.
Around 7,000 women seek asylum in the UK each year. They are seeking protection from persecution, often fleeing violence and abuse. Yet the government’s strategy for helping victims of violence says nearly nothing about them.
Women seeking asylum have been missed out, and we at Boaz, along with thousands across the country, believe that now is the time to put this right.
The coalition government launched its Violence Against Women and Girls strategy in November 2010, and will report on its progress this November. The Charter asks that the strategy guarantees women:
• access to a fair and gender-sensitive asylum system which results in decisions that are right first time
• Border Agency officials who demonstrate an understanding of gender-based persecution
• equivalent levels of sensitivity and expertise already expected of the police and Crown Prosecution Service when dealing with women affected by sexual violence
• a political commitment that assures them the same rights as other women
Please join us in putting pressure on the Government to ensure that women seeking asylum have the same rights as everyone else. You can write to your MP by following this link, or downloading the info below. Please help today!
MP letter template