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Media centre home > News > Refugee crisis retold through video installation

Issued:08/12/17

A powerful new video installation which narrates the harrowing stories of refugees across Europe is set to open its doors in Sheffield.

The exhibition, Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow: Traceability is Credibility, brought to Sheffield by Sheffield Hallam University, is an immersive video experience in which pictures drawn by refugees about their past, present and future will be projected on to a giant cube structure for visitors to view from the inside and reflect on the lives of refugees.

The installation is the work of internationally-renowned artist, Bryan McCormack. Over the past 18 months, Bryan has travelled to refugee camps, squats and sites across Europe and asked refugees to draw three sketches: of their life before (Yesterday), of their current life (Today) and of their life imagined in the future (Tomorrow). He has collected over 1,000 drawings from more than 30 nationalities.

The drawings, which include images of fatal sea-crossings, depictions of refugee camp life, and imagined futures of happy families and home life, were first exhibited as part of the 57th Venice Biennale festival earlier this year.

The video installation, which will take place at Persistence Works, part of Yorkshire ArtSpace, will be open to the general public from Saturday 9 December.

Bryan, who is based in Paris, has exhibited his work across the world at galleries including the Pompidou Centre.  For this project, Bryan has worked with Sheffield Hallam University's stage and screen students to create applied theatre performances in reaction to the drawings.

The students have also been delivering Yesterday/Today/Tomorrow workshops in schools across Yorkshire - examples of which will be on display at the installation.

Today - 16 year old Afghan boy living in Samos Refugee Camp
Yesterday - 40-year-old Somalis woman currently living in refugee squat
Tomorrow - 11 year old Kuwaiti Boy living in Kara Tepe refugee camp

Click to view the images

Dr Henry Bell, who is leading the project for Sheffield Hallam, said: "The global refugee crisis is one of the most challenging issues of our time. Our response to this crisis, as a society - and as a community, has never been so important.

"We're delighted to have opportunity to bring this project, which begins to formulate a response to this crisis through the stories of the refugees themselves, to Sheffield. The general public is invited to come down and experience the installation and being to get a true representation of how the refugees are feeling about their own situation."

For more information including opening times visit https://www4.shu.ac.uk/sia/events/event-listing.html?event=257.

For press information: Contact Martin Webb in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email m.webb@shu.ac.uk.