Exhibition explodes myth of sponging refugees (UK)





One is a doctor who fled Saddam Hussein's Iraq and now runs a £1m felafel business. Another is a young Polish Roma woman who captains a boys' football team while another is a Kurdish separatist with a flourishing acting career.

The courage of Britain's refugees and their contribution to their adoptive nation were yesterday highlighted in a new exhibition designed to refute the image of asylum-seekers as a social and financial burden.

The show at the Museum of London, entitled Belonging, took two years to produce and is the first major exhibition in Britain focused on refugees. It tells the stories of 150 refugees who arrived in the UK in the past 50 years from countries including Germany, Bosnia, Chile and Eritrea.

Organisers said it was an attempt to redress the balance against the portrayal of refugees as "swamping" Britain in search of a lifestyle unavailable in their native countries.

The exhibition, which includes a display of alarmist headlines about asylum-seekers from newspapers including the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, was conceived by a refugee agency in London after it was inundated with complaints from clients that their image was being distorted.


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