Work by refugee artists is being exhibited alongside pieces by young people across London in an exhibition called We Are at The Africa Centre in Southwark. The exhibition explores identity and what seeks to highlight the similarities and differences between living in London and living in Kakuma Refugee camp, one of the oldest and largest refugee camps in the world and is home to 200,000 people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries.

The Africa Centre in Southwark has teamed up with creative arts project, MyStart, to host a week-long exhibition of art and film work from Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, alongside work from London schools. The exhibition is the summation of My Start’s inaugural We Are Schools Arts Competition and is being curated by leading contemporary artists Adelaide Damoah and Soheila Sokhanvari.

More than 20 London schools have taken part in the competition, which has asked participants to explore and express what identity means to them. 

My Start is a creative arts project that runs art and film workshops in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya. The charity teaches practical skills to groups of young people to encourage creative expression; bringing various ethnic and tribal refugee and host communities together in a fun, engaging and dynamic way. To support the workshops in Kakuma, My Start also run creative arts projects in UK schools and encourage communication links between these students and the young people in Kakuma.

Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp from The Africa Centre said: “The Africa Centre and My Start share the fundamental belief that creative learning is integral to the social and emotional development of all young people. We are delighted to be working in partnership with My Start, to showcase the creativity of young refugees and young Londoners, both growing up in very different circumstances.”

Amy Campbell-Golding, My Start founder and Art teacher said: “It is so important that the stories of people from Kakuma are heard and the We Are exhibition hopes to do just that. The competition with London schools has encouraged students to engage with stories from Kakuma and to think about what identity means to both them and people living in the refugee camp.”

 The Africa Centre, Arch 29, Old Union Arches, London, SE1 0LR from 18th to 24th November 2019