Hastings Museum & Art Gallery celebrates Refugee Week with a new summer exhibition
The new Portraits of the Dove Café exhibition launches at Hastings Museum & Art Gallery on 20 June to celebrate Refugee Week 2023.
Portraits of the Dove Café is a vibrant collection of photographs by St Leonards-based photographer Nour El-Din, which captures the hospitality of the volunteers of The Dove Café. Many of the volunteers are participants of The Refugee Buddy Project, and it was for them that the charity created this space. The photographs also share the lovingly prepared dishes, and the warmth of a growing community that looks to the café for nourishment of body and soul.
Cllr Andy Batsford, lead for Health and Culture at Hastings Borough Council, said:
"In 2022, The Refugee Buddy Project opened the doors of The Dove Cafe at 19 Bexhill Road, and ever since, it has been serving delicious coffee and an ever-changing menu of wholesome foods. The café is a cosy, sunlit, people-oriented space, one that thrives on a culture of being welcoming, not just to those with lived refugee and migrant experience but to everyone in Hastings.
"This free exhibition really captures the community spirit of not only the café but of Hastings as a whole. Hastings' welcoming nature can also be seen through the other events being planned to celebrate Refugee Week, including the Sanctuary Festival, which also takes place at the museum and features live music, creative workshops, storytellers, drumming, community stalls, fun for kids and food.
"For more information on how Refugee Week 2023 is being celebrated in Hastings, please visit The Refugee Buddy Project's website: www.therefugeebuddyproject.org."
Rossana Leal, Founder and CEO of The Refugee Buddy Project, added:
"As a refugee and migrant led organisation it's a pleasure to be leading on Refugee Week Hastings 2023, funded by the Arts Council and this year celebrating 25 years nationally. The three galleries on the coast are taking part as well as 25 artists, venues and we are delighted to be working with Hastings Museum & Art Gallery once again to showcase the wonderful photography of Nour El-Din and his observations of the Dove Cafe."
This exhibition is Hastings Museum & Art Gallery's contribution to Refugee Week 2023 and is on display from 20 June until 17 September.
With special thanks to The Refugee Buddy Project, Fatima Esayli, and artist Colin Booth, curator of Electro Studios Project Space in St Leonards. Generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, delivered by the Museums Association.