An Outcast Europe exhibition for the refugee week celebrations in Hastings, UK

Items of new and old residents of Hastings lead us through the paths their owners have taken. They talk about past lives, communities left and new ones found in this town in the South of England. Fragments of routines and daily rituals, symbols of home and family, emergency equipment, clothes and accessories were among the items offered by people from Chile, Sudan, Ukraine, Morocco and Iraq.

Inter Alia met the Refugee Buddy project in May 2023 when we hosted Rossana Leal and Alex Kempton in our training “CURVE – Cultivating Understanding of Refugees and Vulnerable Environments”. The fieldwork carried out in Hastings stroke us as important and surprisingly similar to what goes down in the European South. Arguably, after Brexit news from the UK on the migrant question has been scarce and fragmented. Shortly before the end of the training, Rossana and Alex decided to invite Inter Alia and Outcast Europe for the celebrations of the refugee week. So it happened…

On Friday, 23 June, the community of Hastings and the friends of the Refugee Buddy project were all there to celebrate the refugee week together. In a long series of interviews during an hours-long collection day, we registered stories crossing time and conveying similar feelings of gratitude but also of scepticism by people who had sought refuge in the UK from all over the world in different times in the past four decades.

People trusted us with their objects and amulets, which were included in a pop-up exhibition titled “Intersecting identities of Hastings” that took place in Electro Studios gallery during the weekend, integrated in the multimedia exhibition organised by the Refugee Buddy project titled “And they were you”.

The “Intersecting identities of Hastings” exhibition will be available in digital format at the Outcast Europe website shortly.