Migration is a hot news topic, currently playing a big part in determining whether people vote to remain or leave the EU. The Londonewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch has arrived to remind us that these migrants are all human beings, with individual stories to tell.
A point typified by the opening piece of work 'Wanderers', 300 sculptures all trudge in the same direction. But look closely, and they are all unique — we're made to imagine how each has a different ale about how they ended up here.
The exhibition then takes us on many journeys as we listen to and read about the stories of individual refugees and migrants. Some are heartbreaking, while others, uplifting — as they make the best of their circumstances.
To make the experience more immersive some of these stories are housed inside makeshift shelters made from sheets, and in one case a shipping container.
A particularly terrifying display is an array of life vests — none of which are buoyant. They are arranged on pedestals as if a monument to those who have lost their lives crossing the seas to get to what they hoped to be a better life. The addition of two life vests for children makes this all the more chilling.
This exhibition is designed to put a human face to a news story that often focuses on numbers. Though this show does have some surprising statistics of its own, e.g. of the migrants in the 'Jungle' in Calais 26% are University graduates and 74% of children are unaccompanied.
This exhibition leaves a lasting impact on any visitor and does a great job of raising awareness and compassion towards migrants.
Call me by my name: Stories from Calais and beyond is on at Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch street, E2 7DP until 22 June. Entrance is free and the exhibition is open every day from 10am to 8pm. The exhibition is part of the Migration Museum project.