Seeking Shelter at the Side Gallery

Took a quick trip to the Side Gallery today, to see the Ivor Prickett exhibitions, Seeking Shelter and End of the Caliphate. A powerful double bill looking at the impact of the Syrian war and the on-the-ground consequences for refugees, it’s a stark reminder that while the world looks away, people are still suffering.It’s always tricky when you see these exhibitions – on the one hand, you want to bear witness to what’s happening and the Western world has a responsibility not to turn its gaze from the trouble it helped engender just because it’s not on their doorstep; on the other, there’s always a risk of disaster voyeurism, especially when a white, Western photographer is turning his gaze on a culture that isn’t his own. But on balance, I think this exhibition manages to show the humanity behind the news, and though it’s not an easy thing to look at, it’s sobering and important.As ever with the Side, it’s free (though they welcome donations) and runs until 15th December.

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