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A Spotlight on Migration; The Role of Museums and Galleries

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Anna O’Sullivan, Director, Butler Gallery in discussion with Sophie Henderson, Director Migration Museum, and Hina Khan, artist.

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In conjunction with the exhibition Incoming and Grid (Moria), Butler Gallery has programmed a series of events that aims to bring us closer to the stories of people who have been forced to migrate or seek refugee status in Ireland. Migrants and refugees are often purely seen as a statistic in newspapers or on TV, however, behind each number is a person with a very personal set of circumstances. It is important that these people’s experiences are known and understood in order to raise awareness and compassion within wider Irish society.

Museums and galleries are increasingly highlighting the issues of migration and refugees within their permanent and temporary exhibitions, collecting strategies and public engagement programming. This in-discussion event explores the extent to which cultural organisations can offer more expansive forums of debate for these issues and how they may differ from more generic mass media reporting of such events.

Sophie Henderson was formerly a barrister and immigration judge and has led the Migration Museum since 2013 on its journey towards delivering a permanent, landmark new cultural institution for the UK, to put the long and important story of the movement of people, both to and from the country, right at centre stage, where it belongs.

Hina Khan is an artist from Pakistan specialising in Miniature Painting who moved to Ireland in 2015. Combining traditional and experimental methods, her work engages with social issues around immigration, humanitarian crises such as prostitution, gender discrimination and gender restriction. As Hina states “I am creating a dialogue through my art. My art is a reflection of inner connection, immigrants, nomadic artists are part of this land, migration is deeply rooted in my blood. I have carried two cultures, one where I was born and the other is this culture where I am trying to re-root myself”.

Image Caption:

Richard Mosse, Still from 'Incoming' #88, 2014-17, © Richard Mosse. Courtesy of the artist, Jack Shainman Gallery and carlier | gebauer

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Organiser Butler Gallery

Organiser of A Spotlight on Migration; The Role of Museums and Galleries

Inspiring culture seekers since 1943, the Butler Gallery is a not-for-profit organisation that is free of charge and open to the public six days a week year round. We offer our visitors contemporary exhibitions, which reflect the constantly changing nature of visual art practice. Providing a platform for the best of Irish art today and demonstrating a strong commitment to presenting work by artists of international repute, we aim to stimulate, inspire and challenge our audience. 

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