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Photo-exhibition celebrates immigration in the north of England Open in fullscreen

Robert Cusack

Photo-exhibition celebrates immigration in the north of England

Malaka Mohammed Shwaikh at the University of Sheffield Student's Union [Jeremy Abrahams]

Date of publication: 4 October, 2016

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The Sheffield Museum is showing a series of portraits of immigrants and refugees in the city to send out a positive message of integration in the city.

A new photo exhibition has opened in the north of England, with the aim of celebrating the country's 'richly diverse population'.

Arrivals is a series of portraits of refugees taken by Jeremy Abrahams, currently exhibiting at the Museum of Sheffield.

Abrahams took a series of 60 portraits of immigrants and refugees, representing their years of arrival from 1945 to 2015.

"I started this project because I saw that immigration had begun to be portrayed as something negative," said Abrahams, "And I felt this was something that only grew worse as time went on."

Abrahams' aim in taking these photos was to portray a positive image of immigration, showing that Sheffield had become home to a large population of immigrants from all over world.

"I wanted to give a clear message that immigration has always been a part of our society, embedded here, for many, many years" he said.

To highlight this welcome, Abrahams invited his subjects to select their own setting to best showcase their personalities and attachments to the city.

Malaka Shweikh
Malaka Mohammed Shwaikh at the University of Sheffield Student's Union. [Jeremy Abrahams]

Malaka Shwaikh took part in the series, representing her year of arrival in 2013.

"When I arrived in Sheffield on a student visa, I had just travelled through the al-Sinai desert, from Gaza to Cairo airport. It had been quite dramatic for me to travel alone, as a woman, through this dangerous region.

"I didn't know anyone when I arrived in England, but someone from Sheffield University met me at London Gatwick airport and I instantly felt welcome.

"I really feel like Sheffield is very welcoming as an immigrant, and I agreed to have my photo taken because I felt it was my second home."

A selection of photos from the exhibition can be seen below.

Pedro Fuentes at Sheffield Forgemasters. [Jeremy Abrahams]

Pierre Ngunda Kabaya on the roof of the Arts Tower, University of Sheffield [Jeremy Abrahams]

Thomas Hezekiah Goode outside his shop on Abbeydale Road [Jeremy Abrahams]

Chaithra Chinnaraj at Sheffield Rail Station [Jeremy Abrahams]

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