Refugees’ contribution to life in Scotland celebrated

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Experiences of Exile exhibition

An open day celebrating refugee communities’ contribution to life in Scotland will be hosted by the Art Collection at the University of Stirling.

The event is part of Refugee Festival Scotland, which showcases the food and drink, music and poetry, art, languages and ideas people bring with them when they seek safety in another country.

The festival, which runs from Thursday 20 to Sunday 30 June, aims to bring people from different backgrounds together, to allow them to get to know each other better.

Experiences of Exile exhibition

The Art Collection event runs from 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 22 June, will be held in the University’s Pathfoot Building, and includes guided tours of the Experiences of Exile exhibitions, which focus on refugees and migration.

The afternoon will also include: an opportunity to sample Syrian baking from Alloa-based bakery Alwen Cakes; a chance to print a keepsake on the University’s Columbian Press; a musical performance by internationally renowned classical guitarist Ayman Jarjour; readings by the University’s Creative Writing students; and a musical performance by the Edinburgh Quartet.

The Art Collection’s Deputy Curator Sarah Bromage said: “We are delighted to be holding this open afternoon to showcase the food, music and culture of new Scots.

“This year, the theme of Refugee Festival Scotland is ‘Making Art, Making Home’. The theme focuses on the talent, creativity and resilience of new Scots artists and community groups.

Sarah Bromage

Sarah Bromage, Deputy Curator of the Art Collection

“Included in the exhibition is a display ‘Unpacked: Home from Home’ – a mixed media work created by a group of Syrian women now settled in the Stirling and Falkirk area. The exhibition was developed in art workshops at the University over 12 weeks, between September and December 2018.

“Participants reflected on their experiences of leaving their homes in Syria, their journey to Scotland and shared their feelings of making a new home in Scotland. The resulting artwork aims to unpack the individual stories of refugee experience.”


Each year, the Art Collection’s exhibitions are directly inspired by the University’s research and, this year, Experiences of Exile focuses on refugees and migration. Experiences of Exile features works from the permanent collection by artists who, at some point in their lives, were forced to leave their homes due to hardship or war.

Alongside, the Art Collection is exhibiting work by internationally renowned photographer Anna Pantelia, who examines the migrant crisis through her exhibition The European Dream; the Who Is? Project, created in conjunction with Iranian artist Iman Tajik; and academic Dr Fiona Barclay’s exhibition exploring the history of French settlers in Algeria.

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