SOAS University of London

SOAS hosts UNHCR art installation of Syrian refugee tent

25 July 2017

A tent once home to a Syrian refugee family in Jordan’s Za’atari camp will be on display as a UNHCR art installation at this year’s SOAS University of London graduation ceremonies.

The artwork, by London-based artist Kate Daudy, entitled Am I My Brother’s Keeper? is concerned with questions of home, identity and memory, and is based on an ancient Chinese literary practice of writing on objects.

UNHCR Tent

Daudy visited several refugee camps on different occasions and met with activists, war-wounded, volunteers, doctors, diplomats and other aid organisations, from nearly 60 nations, asking them about their experience of the refugee crisis, and their observations about home and identity rising from it.

The tent is inscribed with work and words of the refugees themselves. Daudy commissioned the circles on the tent to compose the enormous tree of hope, as well as the crochet elements, which were made by women in Syria and transported to London, to create the hollyhock bushes.

SOAS Director Baroness Valerie Amos CH said: “It is fitting that this artwork should be at SOAS for this year’s graduation ceremonies.  SOAS students have played a leading role in campaigning on refugee issues and supporting refugee families in the UK. SOAS is a leader in UK higher education on migration issues including our work on the European Commission funded project on migration and displacement in the Horn of Africa, the hosting of Why Comics which uses interactive comics embedded with multimedia to communicate humanitarian and social issues, and our seven Sanctuary Scholarships which support displaced people who cannot access Student Finance. Our students want to live in a world which is fair and where diversity is valued. We share their aspiration.”

The artwork is on display at SOAS from 24-28 July.