A walking exhibition to mark World Refugee Week

Posted On: June 17, 2014

WRW_Exh_Leaflet FrontMEDIA RELEASE, 14th June 2014

The Irish Refugee Council is pleased to recognise the support of a small number of local cafés and bars which have donated space to five images that explore the reception centres for people seeking protection, centres otherwise known as Direct Provision.

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer with the IRC said, “Following on from a successful exhibition in the Powerscourt Centre on South William Street, we felt that the great thing with this kind of space is the natural footfall. Rather than having to get people into a venue or Gallery, they walk by it on their way to and from work, while shopping, or stopping for a bite to eat. We wanted to continue this awareness raising project by finding five homes, one for each of the images, for the duration of World Refugee Week.”

The walking photography exhibition explores the Direct Provision system in Ireland. The collection, which includes images from Zoë O’Reilly, Rory O’Neill and the Asylum Archive, offers a glimpse into the reality of life in the Direct Provision system for those waiting to be granted protection. The aim is to raise awareness about the human cost of the current system, in particular the harmful impact it is having on the children who are growing up within it. In some cases, children who have not known a life outside of this institutionalised setting.

“The images represent different aspects of life inside these reception centres and are accompanied by testimonies from people living in this inhumane system. This exhibition would not have been possible without the businesses who agreed to display a photograph for World Refugee Week. We would like to thank Brother Hubbard, The Joy of Chá, The Fumbally Café, Berlin-D2 and The Beer House for their support of this awareness raising project,” said Caroline Reid.

This exhibition will run for the duration of World Refugee Week, Sunday 15th – 21st June.

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Contact:

Caroline Reid, Communications Officer  caroline@irishrefugeecouncil.ie / +353 85 8585510

Notes to the Editor:           

An interactive geo map has been created for the exhibition, which is available here: http://batchgeo.com/map/WorldRefugeeWeekWalkingExhbition

Event flyers can be accessed here and here

The Powerscourt exhibition, titled One year on and still no change, marked one year since the national day of action last year which called for an end to the institutional accommodation of people seeking international protection in Ireland.

Direct Provision:

In November 1999, a government decision was taken to establish a central directorate “to deal with matters relating to the dispersal of asylum seekers throughout the country and preparation of plans for a system of direct provision of housing, health needs etc. The decision that the state would provide directly for the needs of asylum seekers has given rise to a system that has become known as ‘Direct Provision’ full board and lodging with a nominal personal allowance (€19.10 per adult / €9.60 per child) in centres funded by the state but run (and largely owned) by private companies and dispersal on a ‘no choice’ basis around the country. The system was created out of a crisis due to the sharp increase in the numbers of people seeking asylum at the time.

IRC Alternatives Document: Direct Provision: Framing an alternative reception system for people seeking international protection

~ Asylum seekers do not have the right to work.

~ The average time spent in Direct Provision is 3yrs, with some waiting as long as 7yrs for a decision.

~ There are currently over 4,000 people living in Direct Provision, a third are children.