'Seen’ exhibition shines light on power and potential of children in the asylum system, says Nicholl

Seen is an exhibition developed by the Oliver Jeffers Studio, Anaka Women’s Collective, Participation and the Practice of Rights (PPR) and South Belfast Alliance MLA Kate Nicholl. 

Kate Nicholl

The exhibition, co-created by Oliver Jeffers and a group of asylum-seeking children and young people in a church hall in Belfast in Autumn 2023, has now been transformed into an outdoor gallery as part of Belfast 2024.
Commenting on the exhibition, Kate Nicholl said: "Children within the asylum system are so often hidden from view, live in precarious accommodation, and have limited access to school and education. These children are not just asylum seekers; each one has hopes and dreams for the future, but our system is only adding to the trauma families have already experienced and is not helping these children to grow, develop and thrive.
“I was determined, along with Oliver, to shine a light on these issues and to make sure these children are seen for who they are and get access to the services they deserve. Ultimately, however, this does not solve the underlying issues and we need to see a more humane approach to asylum seekers and refugees that recognises the experiences people have been through and treats them with respect, dignity and humanity. 
“It is good to see this exhibition come to life on the streets of Belfast and to amplify the voices, hopes and dreams of children seeking sanctuary in Northern Ireland, and I am proud to have played a part in bringing it together. Working with Oliver and Anaka throughout this project has been a delight and I would encourage everyone to take some time over the weekend to view the exhibition and reflect on the experiences of these children.
“These children are part of the fabric of our city and this exhibition offers an important opportunity to reflect that reality.” 
Find out more about the exhibition here:
Seen (belfastcity.gov.uk) 
Location: Thanksgiving Square, Belfast Waterfront
When: 16-25 May