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This new exhibition opening on Monday gives voice to people at two points in history who have experienced persecution and displacement.

Letters of Refuge is a collaboration between @culturalkings @kingsclassics @clamskcl, the Institute of Classical Studies and @artrefuge_ alongside people with lived experience of displacement.

The timely exhibition features fragments of ancient letters written by people who lived under the Roman empire, alongside contemporary letters written at The Community Table in Kent and Calais by people seeking asylum and displaced, on either side of the English Channel.

This exhibition is particularly urgent in light of the British government’s widely condemned new ‘Illegal Migration Bill’ making it illegal for people arriving in small boats across the Channel to claim asylum in the UK - even though nearly two thirds of people arriving by small boats are granted refugee status following rigorous Home Office checks (Refugee Council).

What’s striking is the extraordinary parallels between the ancient and the modern experiences. Law and policy often envisage faceless, silent categories, but this is an issue where it’s vital to remember that those laws and policies impact on people - people who not only have voices, but voices that remind us of the ubiquity and commonality of what they have endured.

- Dr James Corke-Webster, Director of the Centre for Late Antique and Medieval Studies at King’s College London.


Letters of Refuge opens from 13 March: 📆 13-24 March ⏰ 10:00-18:00 📍 The Arcade, Bush House, King’s College London (free entry)

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