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Young people shed light on refugee experience in Nottinghamshire art exhibition

For immediate release 18 August 2011
For further information Catherine Bates
Contact number 0115 850 5954

An exhibition of artwork created by a group of young people will be touring Nottinghamshire from 20 August. The young people created the exhibition after taking part in a series of art workshops where they heard the stories of young refugee and asylum seekers.

Working with local artists and using a range of artistic styles including graphic design and graffiti, the young people have each produced a personal representation of the one word they feel sums up what they have learned in the sessions. Their creations are being exhibited across Nottinghamshire over the next year, starting at Worksop Library between 20 August and 29 September as part of the Bassetlaw Arts Festival.

Organised by County Youth Arts, the workshops are supported by ‘Positive Images’, an exciting European project led by the British Red Cross.

Gary Mountain, project officer for Positive Images, said: ‘’The young people have created a fantastic exhibition of artwork and I’d encourage anyone to come along to take a look. Taking part in the workshops to create their own individual pieces has massively increased their knowledge and improved their attitudes towards refugees and asylum seekers, which can be such a grey subject. In the workshops they learnt the reality behind myths surrounding people who come to the UK seeking refuge from persecution, which we hope they will pass on to other young people.”

Tim Smith, an artist involved in the project said: “This project has given young people the valuable opportunity to expand their understanding of what it is really like to seek asylum and why some people need refuge. After learning the facts, creating the artwork allowed them to formulate and express their views on what is a complex topic.”

The Red Cross’ Positive Images project began in 2009 following a successful pilot in Scotland; it promotes positive attitudes among young people (aged 12 to 25) towards vulnerable migrants, raises awareness of development issues and enables exchange of learning across the EU. The project aims to reach three million young people over the next three years and too date about one million young people have been reached already.

The British Red Cross offers a wide range of volunteering opportunities across the UK. If you’re interested in finding our more about Positive Images or volunteering for the British Red Cross visit or email


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Notes to editors
Upcoming exhibition dates and venues:

Worksop Library 20 August -29 September as part of Bassetlaw Arts Festival

Arnold Library 22 October – 19 November

Mansfield Central Library 3 January – 14 February, Exhibition for the launch of the new Mansfield Library

Rufford Gallery February TBC

Southwell Library 29 February – 19 March

The Old Library, Mansfield 30 April – 29 June

The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies
in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.

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