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Curatorial Statement



The exhibition Refuse/Refuge explores the visual politics of the 21st-century  Mediterranean refugee crisis. This crisis is underscored by many ‘political refusals’ where refuge, help or rescue has been refused. At the same time, the exhibition presents another set of ‘refusals’ – ‘visual refusals’. Can we be responsible citizens without viewing the representation of death and suffering? In the context of Refuse/Refuge, we ask you to reconsider your political stance not by looking at any images of suffering, but by looking at what could be seen as different types of ‘visual refusals’.


The artists participating in this exhibition approach these themes by using different mediums, both textual and visual. The exhibition includes artworks by Majid Adin, Forensic Oceanography (Charles Heller and Lorenzo Pezzani), Ina Lounguine, Janne Malmros, Maria Tzanakou. 


Curated by Martha Cattell and Kyveli Lignou-Tsamantani, University of York





For the participating artists, please choose a name from the drop-down menu to see more information.


For a digital version of the exhibition catalogue, please get in touch via the home page.



Top left: 

Introductory panel of Refuse/Refuge, York Art Gallery, image courtesy of York Museums Trust.  


Top right and right:

Exhibition view of Refuse/Refuge, York Art Gallery, images courtesy of York Museums Trust.  



Exhibition catalogue, image courtesy of York Museums Trust


Exhibition poster



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