Document Actions

4-10 March 2014: ‘The space between’

To mark International Women’s Day on 8 March, Birkbeck presented ‘The space between’ – a free photographic exhibition documenting the journeys of four women refugee academics.

The space between 2

The images on display at the Peltz Gallery in Birkbeck’s School of Arts in Gordon Square tell personal stories of women fleeing from Iraq, Burma and Burundi. These successful women involved in education, law, women’s rights and politics, were forced to feel from war-torn countries, arriving in the UK with almost nothing of their past life.

These women, separated from their home country, have faced the loss of their family, friends and even their sense of self. Starting a new life, in a place of safety and strangeness, finding refuge in education, accepting the past and rediscovering their lost self. These women are so much more than the label of ‘refugee', they are women whose voices have gone unheard.

The exhibition, developed by Birkbeck in partnership with the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA), highlighted the courage of women who have defended their rights as women and the right to academic freedom. The exhibition was first displayed in London in 2012.

Equality and diversity at Birkbeck

The project is part of Birkbeck’s equality and diversity campaign to promote understanding and awareness of issues surrounding tolerance and freedom from discrimination among staff, students and the local community.

Naina Patel, Director of Human Resources at Birkbeck, said:  “This exhibition tracks the heartrending journeys of women refugee academics through a series of powerful photographs. As we mark International Women’s Day, it is timely to remember the trials and tribulations faced by women academics across the world due to victimisation and persecution by oppressive regimes and societies.

“At Birkbeck, we are committed to providing the highest quality academic and working environment where all staff, students, visitors and contractors are employed, welcomed, respected and treated in a consistent and non-discriminatory manner.”

The space between exhibition is open from Tuesday 4 March – Monday 10 March (weekdays 10am-5:30pm, Saturday 10am-1pm, Sunday closed) at Birkbeck’s Peltz Gallery in the School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD.