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Institute staff and students organise UN World Refugee Day event

25 June 2018

UN World Refugee Day Object Handling Event, 20 June 2018 (Image courtesy of Alejandra Carles-Tolra)

Institute staff and students organised a special event on UN World Refugee Day (20 June) to commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees and displaced persons.

The object handling sessions, organised with clients from the Helen Bamber Foundation in London, saw clients interact with items selected from across UCL collections and those housed at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. The latter notably include the Flinders Petrie Palestinian Collection and archaeological finds from Kathleen Kenyon’s Jericho excavations.

The Helen Bamber Foundation supports refugees and asylum seekers who have experienced extreme human cruelty. Members of the Helen Bamber photography group used the objects as points of inspiration for their own photographic work.

UN World Refugee Day Object Handling Event, 20 June 2018 (Image courtesy of Alejandra Carles-Tolra)

The object handling session forms part of a wider project ‘Moving Objects - Heritage in Exile’ led by Beverley Butler, Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Helen Chatterjee that will culminate in an exhibition in UCL’s Octagon Gallery in February 2019 in partnership with co-curators and in collaboration with UCL Culture.

The exhibition centres upon UCL and Institute of Archaeology collections and will draw out themes of migration, displacement and wellbeing. ‘Moving Objects’ thus reflects both the mobility and migration of these objects, also the extent to which diverse objects and artefacts can ‘move us’, inviting/demanding/requiring different forms of emotional and political engagement with questions of displacement.

The World Refugee Day event was organised by Beverley Butler, Reader in Cultural Heritage Studies at the UCL Institute of Archaeology & Heritage and Wellbeing Lead at the UCL Centre for Critical Heritage Studies, as well as MA in Cultural Heritage placement students Haeree Shim and Andrea Potts.

Sincere thanks are extended to the Helen Bamber Foundation, UCL Culture and to Ian Carroll, UCL Institute of Archaeology Collections Manager, for their invaluable help and support.

Further details

Images courtesy of Alejandra Carles-Tolra, Helen Bamber Foundation Photography Group