Photography exhibition by Asylum seekers group goes on display in Athlone Library.
An exhibition of photography by 12 Asylum seekers who are living at the accommodation centre in Lissywollen went on display in Athlone Library yesterday evening. Former Government minister Mary O’Rourke launched the first ever exhibition by members of the group, which was formed last year.
The exhibition consists of 28 images taken in the asylum site and other areas of Athlone. Leah Quinn of Westmeath Community Development said the group was formed after some of the sites residents- who are not allowed to work in Ireland at present – expressed a interest in starting a photography club. Nuala O’Brien of Westmeath VEC helped organise weekly meetings in which the group received tuition in photography from photographer Luke Daniel’s. “We meet for two hours each Thursday and get a lot of professional advice and information” said one of the group members, Heirdar Al-Hashimi. Mr Al-Hashimi is a native of Iraq who has been living in Ireland for the last three and half years. He is one of the interviewees featured in Athlone community radios “Just Bearable” documentary series on life at the site in Lissywollen.
The photography exhibition in Athlone Library will be on display for two weeks. The images are available to buy and all proceeds raised from the photo sales will go to fund a level 4 Ffetac course in photography which the group members are hoping to pursue.
The nine members of the group who have work featured in the current exhibition are: Heirdar Al-Hashimi: Dinesh Thapa: Arshed Butt: Mohamed Khan: Olga Yemstova: Anna Kostanyan: Bibi Noshen: Nazia Idris and Tamara Grimberg.
This photo exhibition was supported by Westmeath Community Development through the European Refugee fund and the Local and Community Development Programme in conjunction with Westmeath VEC.