I am – Workshop EIGHT

We’ll let the photographs (credit: Carey Marks) speak for themselves. Workshop 8 was about the message in the memory!

Basma (Iraq): I graduated from Baghdad University Fine Arts with a Bachelors degree in 2005 but since then I haven’t had the chance to practice my skills as a ceramicist nor touch any clay all these years because of my country’s problems. Now I am here in the UK and this [Creative Recovery] is the first art project I get involved in. Happy to be part of this project, help each other and make my story heard.
Mohammed (Palestine): For me what I like the most about Gaza is how motivated Gazans are. They have never given up with all the destruction around them and they are not just trying to reconstruct their city but also the whole world. I wish in the future to set up an initiative to support real peace building for a sustainable world where each and everyone of us [humans] can live the life he/she wants, not a life we are forced to live in.

Trisha (Pakistan): I love Karachi’s food, beaches and shopping centres. My most wonderful memories are with my family when we used to sit in our living room and talk for hours or when we had to sit in our garden during the electricity blackouts. Most of my time in Pakistan revolved around my school and education, I remember my school’s bus and our fun school trips. I wish I can help people around me and help make this world a better place for everyone despite their race, ethnicity, religion and social status!
Tarig (Sudan): The east side of the River Nile witnessed my birth; in a historical city called Khartoum North. I grew up in a spacious house with yards opening against each other; in an extended family which surrounded me with constant and unconditional love. I grew up observing and spent most of my life in search for my voice, until I found film which became my voice. I recently graduated from a Film Studies Masters degree at London Film School. Now I make films mostly about unnoticed details of life; aspiring to make change, and one day I will.
Zahra (Sri Lanka): I loved and looked forward every weekend in my childhood to visit the golden sandy beach of Mount Lavinia. The smell of sea salt still lingers in my memory, collecting seashells was my favourite hobby, and thirst-quenching king coconut trees that I’m still longing to taste. I travel back to my golden memories I have treasured in my heart, and feel how lucky I was to be born there. Those memories still make me happy even now, when everything seems blue around me.
Mahmoud (Syria): I escaped from Syria. The fighting became too intense and one day an opportunity arose. Back home I was studying to become a doctor. Here I am a delivery driver. It sounds a big difference doesn’t it?
Debra (Nigeria): I escaped a dangerous situation in Lagos. I love going to church, singing and visiting my friends.
Waleed (Sudan): I am a human rights activist and a former interior designer. I am a refugee from Khartoum. I love Khartoum and its lights and intellectual evenings of art, music and exhibitions. I am from a country torn apart by war… I wish to live in a world without weapons. A peaceful, kind and generous world.
Arzu (Azerbaijan): I’m a human rights lawyer with 14 years of experience. I was the candidate for Parliament in 2010 when 7000 people voted for me. I was a lecturer at the Western University in Azerbaijan while working on various UN projects. I speak 5 languages and I’m the author of 2 books and 70 scientific articles. I have a PhD in human rights. I moved to the UK nearly a year ago with my daughter. I got my refugee status in March 2019. Now I have plans to improve my English and I have already started working on different projects with women and refugees. After that I’d like to study law (for a Masters degree) in the UK, but my aim in the future is to become a barrister in the UK. I’m happy that in a very short time I managed to integrate within the UK life, and have many friends from different countries. I feel very safe and I think it’s becoming my second home. I no longer feel as homesick as I used to feel before.
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Maria (Honduras)
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Isatta (Sierra Leone): I studied youth and community development at university. I am from Sierra Leone, the northern part of the country with beautiful landscape which is surrounded by hills and mountains like the Wara Wara mountain, Solar and Bintumany mountains. As a child, I grew up playing outside, enjoying the beautiful smell of fresh herbs and plants. Most evenings, my siblings and I always take long walk to my grand parents house for some TLC. I have very large family, including extended family from both parents. What I loved most was meeting up with all my cousin’s during festive season as they will all travel from far and near to come to my parents house and spend days sharing family meals together. Most of all, when we have relatives staying with us, as a sign of unity and love, my mother will dish our food in a large bowl for all the family to share, eating with our hands. This is very significant in our tradition. Since the war started in the 90s, my life had never been the same. I hope that the Land that We Love, Sierra Leone will create equal opportunity for every one regardless of their respective believes and opinion.
Honey (Pakistan): I love my city, Lahore. I have fond memories of Joyland, the zoo and Jina Park. The founder of Pakistan Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jina, struggled very hard to make Pakistan the country for Muslim people and celebrate independence of Pakistan every year on the 14 August. I fell struggle follows Pakistanis wherever they go.
Abdalla (Sudan): I’m a film maker and a writer. I made films and wrote about the Nile. Here I’m studying film studies.

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