My Light is Your Light

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My Light is Your Light by Alaa Minawi. Lumiere London 2018
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Experience moving tales through My Light is Your Light, a tribute from artist Alaa Minawi (Palestine/Lebanon) to Syrian refugees, in St James’s Churchyard (viewed from Church Place).

This installation highlights the plight of Syrian refugees and the terrible conditions they have experienced in their migrations across the world. The work was realised after Alaa Minawi worked for three years as an interpreter for Syrian, Iraqi, Sudanese and Somali refugees. Also see Suspended, an installation artwork by Arabella Dorman inside St James's Church Piccadilly.

He interpreted the final interviews that took place between the refugees and a DHS (Department of Homeland and Security) officer within which they received their final resettlement decisions. In these interviews, the refugees tell their traumatic stories, what they have been through and the reasons behind their displacement. Minawi interpreted interviews for more than 1,000 families and felt the need to express what he had heard.

These stories are now embodied in art, the fragile outlines of a family glowing in the darkness.

Minawi says: “I would like people to know that these are not refugees. As an artist, it is important to highlight the fact that we need to view them as people who were forced to leave their homes. That is a much more powerful approach…. We have to go to the real meaning of the word 'refugee' without the fears that are currently stigmatising it.”

What’s nearby?

Before or after visiting the installations in London’s West End, dine on oysters and classic British dishes at Bentley’s on Swallow Street. Nearby, Europe’s largest bookshop, Waterstones Piccadilly, has a wealth of latest releases and historic novels to discover.

The programme may be subject to change or cancellation due to circumstances beyond the event organiser's control.

Lumiere London is a free festival produced by Artichoke - a small charity with big ideas. Artichoke creates art for the enjoyment and wellbeing of millions of people. Your donations enable them to help keep their events free and support their work around the UK.

Venue Details & Map

St James's Church Piccadilly

197 Piccadilly
+44 (0)20 7734 4511
Public transport:
Take south side exit and walk straight ahead.

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