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Share the journey with Rohingya refugees

We’ve joined forces with renowned Scottish photographer Simon Murphy and Justice and Peace Scotland to bring traumatic images and stories of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh to life in an amazing photography exhibition launched in Glasgow on World Refugee Day – 20th June.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled for their lives to Bangladesh last year, having experienced unimaginable horrors at the hands of the Myanmar military.  They're now living in poverty in a giant refugee camp.

Scottish photographer Simon Murphy travelled to the Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh in December to see SCIAF's work with Caritas Bangladesh to help some of the most vulnerable refugees.

The free exhibition opened in St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow at 11am on 20th June and will remain there until 17th July. It will then go on tour around all eight Catholic diocese in Scotland.

Simon hopes his striking images of the plight of the Rohingya people will inspire those who see them to do what they can to help.

The exhibition is part of Caritas Internationalis’ Share the Journey campaign and global week of action, which runs until 24th June

He said: “To have the images from the camp displayed in a travelling exhibition around Scotland is lovely. The more attention that the plight of the Rohingya people receive can only be good as hopefully it might move all who see it to do what they can to help.

“Whenever I travel to places such as the Rohingya camp in Bangladesh I am filled with conflicting emotions. I feel deep sadness and helplessness for the people and the conditions that they have to live under. 

 “I feel guilt that I can return to the comfort of my home and family in Scotland but at the same time feel so grateful that my own children don't have to suffer like the hundreds of thousands of vulnerable young ones at the camp.

 “I question my own role as a photographer and what difference can I really make? And then I reconfirm to myself what I know, that people can make a difference and that the images that I have made might strike a chord with someone, and even if they make a small difference, then that is something. 

“I really hope that people can take a moment out of their busy schedules to visit the exhibition, and contemplate on how the suffering, the strength, the dignity and courage of others can transform our own outlooks and have a direct impact on how we lead our lives.” 

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Frances Gallagher, of Justice and Peace Scotland, said the exhibition was aimed at raising awareness of the plight of the Rohingya and other refugees around the world forced to flee their homes.

 “We hope that by taking these images to every diocese in Scotland, they will help us work towards the welcome, protection, promotion and integration that Pope Francis calls for us to offer the 65 million refugees worldwide,” she added.

Archbishop of Glasgow Philip Tartaglia, who attended the exhibition launch, said the images will “challenge our consciences more than 1,000 words”.

“No human being can remain indifferent to the appalling level of suffering seen in these images. They challenge our consciences more than 1,000 words. The Holy Father has been insistent in his appeal for us to open our hearts and our lives to refugees. This exhibition will drive home that message loud and clear,” he added.

The exhibition is a great opportunity for all our supporters to share the journey with the Rohingya refugees so please take a few minutes out of your busy day to come face to face with Simon’s remarkable images. It will be impossible not to be moved by them.

The travelling exhibition will be visiting St Margaret’s Cathedral in Ayr from 18th July – 25th July, St Peter in Chains, Ardrossan, from 26th July – 5th August, St Teresa’s in Dumfries from 7th August – 14th August, and St Patrick’s, Cowgate, Edinburgh from 10th October – 6th November. Further dates and locations will be posted on this website and on the Justice and Peace website diary at www.justiceandpeacescotland.org.uk

 Take a look at our amazing virtual journey by clicking here and Share the Jouney with the Caritias campaign here

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