Grappling with notions of displacement and exile, Autograph’s current exhibition Hélène Amouzou: Voyages raises important questions on what it means to seek refuge and what it feels like to belong. Many of the works on display were created while the artist was seeking asylum in Belgium, part of a two-decade long journey seeking safety and citizenship.
Inspired by Voyages, join us for a free afternoon of discussion, exhibitions, photography, food and sharing - exploring how art can change the conversation about migration and those who seek refuge, bringing to light new stories about freedom and identity.
Provocations and discussion
Gallery 2, 1 - 3pm
Surrounded by Amouzou’s evocative self-portraits, speakers including artists, campaigners, and refugee and asylum communities will share their experiences and insights and offer opportunity for a collective discussion. They will question:
• What is the most vital role art and artists can play at this current moment to resist the exclusions and violence towards people from refugee, asylum and migrant backgrounds?
• How can art and creativity challenge hostile stereotypes of migration and seeking refuge and bring into focus more complex and sensitive stories about freedom, identity, home and belonging?
• What should artists, activists, practitioners and people with lived experience do together to create more caring, equitable ways of being together and what are the main challenges we face in doing this work at the current time?
Seating is limited for the discussion, please arrive early for a seat. If the gallery is full, you may have to wait to join this part of the event.
Studio, 3 - 5pm
Visit a new multimedia installation made by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds. Using photography, film and sound the artists play with light and project an image of their future selves, examining the many layers of our identities and stories. Future Self is a collaboration between the artists, youth media organisation Mouth That Roars, and artist Aida Silvestri.
Food and Refreshments
Studio, 3 - 5pm
Celebrate the display and meet the young people who have created it! Join us in the studio for food and refreshments.
Armet Francis: Beyond the Black Triangle
1 - 5pm
See Autograph's new exhibition by Armet Francis, chronicling the lives of people of the African diaspora for more than 40 years.
Aliaskar Abarkas (1994) is an Iranian artist and writer whose practice is deeply rooted in alternative and collective education. Through a performative approach, he captures the dynamics between people, forging a shift from individual to collective experience. His projects, notably The Community Whistling Choir, explore themes of communication, conviviality, and transformation of self and knowledge.
Together with the participants, he documents the process to produce films and compose sound and text. Collaborating with individuals and organisations, Aliaskar proposes and tests methodologies that reimagine the open contexts within which his practice circulates.
Most recently, Aliaskar was an associate artist at Rupert (Lithuania), Open School East (UK), the Institute of Postnatural Studies (Spain) and previously, Syllabus V (UK). Aliaskar completed a BFA and MA in Fine Arts and Theory of Art and Politics at the University of Tehran and Goldsmiths University of London. As an associate artist and researcher, he contributed to LUX Critical Forum, The Sonic and Somatic Transdisciplinary Research and Practice Programme, Advanced Practices, The Centre for Arts Design & Social Research, The New Centre for Research & Practice, and the Barbican Centre's Communities and Neighbourhoods. Aliaskar is the recipient of Castro International Fellowship Award, Rome, 2024.
Dalia is an Iraqi-British freelance writer, editor, and producer based in London. She tells stories on emerging creativity from the SWANA region and diaspora, on migrant narratives, and reports on community-led stories from the margins with bylines in The Guardian, WePresent, Huck, The New Arab and more. Collaborations include Nike, Converse, TATE Galleries, BFI, the Barbican, and she has recently co-written a book with The Middle East Archive.
She is the founder of The Road to Nowhere magazine – as seen in Dazed, GQ Middle East, Port and It’s Nice That – which showcases new creative and cultural writing, art, and photography about second-generation immigrants, diaspora, and migration narratives. Dalia is also the Producer of Refugee Week 2023 and has worked with migrant charities such as Paper Airplanes, Restless Beings, Counterpoints, Gaza Library, the IRC and The Migrant Rights Network.
Maaz is an intellectually curious person with a deep commitment to social justice, throughout his studies - initially in veterinary science, and, and subsequent experience working in the humanitarian sector in Sudan for over 8 years and in the UK. Most recently as International programs manager for Peace Direct, a London based charity - Maaz is responsible for overseeing portfolios of international programs and leading a Local Action Fund (LAF) programme.
He also leads efforts to explore, implement, and promote flexible ways of resourcing local peacebuilding efforts more widely. Maaz has been involved in various charity work for different organisations such International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF).
Maaz’s career in the humanitarian sector was interrupted and he was forced to flee Sudan and seek asylum in the UK. As a refugee himself, Maaz understands how challenging it can be to establish life away from home, hence he actively tries to deliver that for others.
Maaz is a dedicated human rights activist, with extensive experience of humanitarian work and in highly challenging and sometimes dangerous contexts. Having lived in Sudan as well as in the UK, Maaz has a broad experience of different societies, cultural practices and political contexts. Maaz is trained as a Veterinarian, and holds a postgraduate diploma in Humanitarian Action from Fordham University, and an MA in Human Rights Law from SOAS, beside that Maaz is also developing his interests and skills in the performing arts and in video production.
Hiba Noor is the first openly trans Filmmaker in Muslim World. Pakistani Human Rights Defender, activist, social scientist, poet, sketch artist, photographer and painter with 6 years of experience working in gender equality, livelihoods and economic employment through her camera frame and public speeches. She is the first Pakistani who achieved higher certificates as trans women.
She started her career as an associate Director for a Morning show for Pakistani Channel. Working as an impact artist in films like Matar and The First Drop of Rain. Hiba's voice for marginalised communities Human Rights + transwomen rights has been heard through various media channels and newspapers.
Aida Silvestri (born 1978, Eritrea) is a visual activist whose multi-faceted practice amplifies marginalised voices and migrant communities – raising awareness of human rights issues and representational politics in the arts and beyond.
Using innovative modes of mixed media portraiture, Silvestri’s celebrated projects Even This Will Pass (2013 – 2014) and Unsterile Clinic (2015) respectively address people trafficking by highlighting the perilous journeys undertaken by economic and political refugees, and advocate for survivors of gender-based violence by drawing attention to the widespread practice of female genital mutilation. Both series were published, exhibited and part-commissioned by Autograph.
Silvestri’s work has been exhibited as part of African Cosmologies: Photography, Time and the Other at the 2020 FotoFest Biennale, Houston, USA; at Autograph, London; The Photographers’ Gallery, London; Saatchi Gallery, London; TEAT Champ Fleuri, La Réunion Island; Arendt House, Luxembourg; Musée National d’Histoire-aux-Poissons, Luxembourg; Gah Museum, Taiwan; Athens Photo Festival Benaki Museum Athens, Greece; Cours de L’Archevéché, Arles; Centquarter Paris, France. She is currently remote artist-in-residence at Light Work, Syracuse; and in 2017 she received the Circulation(s) Festival audience award and was shortlisted for the Arendt European Month of Photography awards.
You can see more of Silvestri's work on her website.
Autograph is a place to see things differently. Since 1988, we have championed photography that explores issues of race, identity, representation, human rights and social justice, sharing how photographs reflect lived experiences and shape our understanding of ourselves and others.Donate Join our mailing list