Asylum in Art

Asylum in Art shines a lens on what life is like inside a British Immigration Removal Centre (IRC) and beyond release into a community in the city of Leeds.

The exhibition is a photo-voice of 11 photographs taken by Jeremy Abrahams and an audio narrating women’s experiences. To protect the women who shared their stories with Maria De Angelis, the Project Director, all the actors are students or colleagues from Leeds Beckett University.

It would take just a few minutes to quickly look at the images on screen, but do take the time to fully immerse yourself in the online exhibition. Listen to the 13 minute audio, which you can access by either clicking the speaker icon in the top right hand corner of each photo OR playing the transcript recording below the thumbnails, and navigate round the images on screen as you listen. You will find yourself transported to the world as seen by Asylum Seekers and hear the questions life raises for them; in your heart as well as by sight and sound.

To navigate the exhibition you can click back and forth between the different photos and use the thumbnail images at the bottom of your screen to move to different photos. When looking at a photo, you can rotate the camera using the hand icon so that you can see a 360 view. Also, you can click on an individual photo using the hot spot set and be teleported to the main photo for that image. Finally, you can rotate each photo to see the one shown behind it.

We recommend downloading the free Exhibition Booklet for commentary on some of the policies and issues behind the stories.

The exhibition is shown in situ at Leeds Church Institute. This tour is brought to you by Ben Jones of Missional Generation to enable your visit during Covid19 restrictions and who created this online viewing. To see more of his work see 

Jeremy Abrahams is Project Photographer & artistic consultant whose full collection of works can be viewed at:


Maria De Angelis is Project Director and Author of ‘Female Asylum Seekers: A Critical Attitude on UK Immigration Removal Centres’. Please contact Maria for a copy: [email protected]

Resources for church and community groups

Maria has developed a Seminar for students which we think makes a great resource for any church or community group interested in exploring more about the reality of seeking asylum in Britain.  For church groups in particular, we recommend also using Inderjit Bhogal’s free booklet “Hospitality and Sanctuary For All“, which offers prompts for conversation and reflection on the theme of hospitality and sanctuary.