In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Refugee Week, Iranian refugee and artist Majid Adin, and world-renowned artist Lakwena, have created two huge murals in Hanbury Street, Shoreditch and London’s bustling Southbank.
Featuring bold typography by acclaimed fashion designer Katharine Hamnett, both murals have been made to celebrate the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees.
A successful artist back in Iran, Majid was forced to flee his home after facing persecution for his writings and cartoons criticising religious conservatism. Since his arrival locked in a refrigerator in the back of a cargo truck in 2016, Adin has become a successful artist in the UK, creating music videos for the likes of Sir Elton John and raising thousands of pounds for charity Help Refugees.
Now a successful artist and animator, Iranian refugee Majid Adin, said:
“This project was all about bringing people together. Throughout my journey to the UK, people have shown be great kindness and love. I wanted to bring a community together to celebrate our common humanity. It doesn’t matter what age, faith, sexuality or nationality you are, when we work together and show compassion and kindness toward each other we can do brilliant things.”
CEO and Co-Founder of Help Refugees, Josie Naughton, said this:
“At a time when good news can sometimes feel in short supply, we are excited to bring the Tower Hamlets community together to deliver a positive, message this Refugee Week. Local refugees and asylum seekers, kids from local schools, and volunteers have all worked together to share a story of hope, kindness and unity. Working with Majid and Second Home for Refugee Week, we wanted to celebrate the positive contribution refugees have had on our society and inspire more people to get involved and start choosing love.”
You can visit Majid’s artwork at 68 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch.
Lakwena’s iconic, kaleidoscopic work is informed by the use of decoration as a means of communication. As a form of expression within a political world, Lakwena explores how the use of adornment in worship and myth-making translates into contemporary popular culture.
Central to her practice are words, used as both images and anchors of meaning, borrowing from the techniques and conventions of traditional sign-writing and contemporary graphic design.
Internationally acclaimed artist Lakwena said:
“I’m excited to be bringing Help Refugees’ Choose Love message to the Southbank this Refugee Week.
This city is built on diversity, community and the contributions of people from all around the world. This Refugee Week, this mural celebrates a city that’s opened its doors to all people.
I’m really happy to be part of this project that is about choosing to be motivated by love rather than greed, comfort, or pride. No matter where I go, what comes my way, what I gain or what I lose, I believe that 3 things will remain – faith, hope and love.”
You can visit Lakwena’s artwork at Southbank Centre Square – Hayward Side.
The murals were conceived and produced in collaboration with unfinished animals.
Choose love is a simple, but powerful message. At a time when the world faces many challenges; when a rhetoric of hate and division has found itself centre stage; we believe sharing this simple message has never been more vital. These murals will be a statement of hope, proudly positioned in two of the most iconic London locations.