“Firas remembers Iraq”
Firas served in the army in Iraq for 12 years. He had to leave the country when it became too dangerous to remain. He travelled across Europe – via the camp in Calais – and arrived in the back of a lorry in a car park in Birmingham. He says his faith has been strengthened by the experience and the image in the background is of his favourite prayer shrine in Baghdad.
“Grace remembers Uganda”
Grace had to flee her home leaving two daughters behind, who she hasn’t seen for years. She has a 2 year old son in this country. Her Catholic faith is very important to her and the image of the Virgin Mary is from a statue that Graces mother gave her – the red line holding them all together represents the prayers and flow of a mother’s love for her family torn apart.
“Pride remembers Cameroon”
Pride was studying at university in Southampton when his father was killed back home in Cameroon. Both his father and Pride have campaigned for independence for South Cameroon and so Pride believes the same will happen to him if he returns. Before he was granted asylum he lived under the shadow of being detained at any time. The flag in the background is the flag of south Cameroon; the mountain is Mount Cameroon, which is near Pride’s home town.
Hear Ric, Firaz and Pride talk about their stories and the process of creating these paintings in this video from the same conference.
All three have now been granted asylum in the UK.