Anaïs, Vincent, and their son César, host Afghan refugees Zulfeqar and Battarine in Saint-Priest. The Afghan couple are like second parents to the French toddler.  © UNHCR/Aubrey Wade
Anaïs, Vincent, and their son César, host Afghan refugees Zulfeqar and Battarine in Saint-Priest. The Afghan couple are like second parents to the French toddler. © UNHCR/Aubrey Wade

Organized in collaboration with UNHCR, the photo exhibition No Stranger Place tells the stories of refugees who European citizens welcomed into their homes. The exhibition opens in Paris on Wednesday and runs until July 29.

The show comprises a series of stories of refugees and those who host them throughout Europe developed by photographer Aubrey Wade. After London, Berlin, Vienna and Stockholm, and as part of events celebrating World Refugee Day, the show will be at Paris's Ground Control, where it will focus on some people in France who got past cultural an linguistic barriers and invited refugees to stay in their homes with them. 


Stories of generosity 

As the partner of the photographic project UNHCR explained in a statement, ''Since the death of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi in September 2015, thousands of people have come together to bridge cultural divides and language barriers. Aubrey Wade and writer Nadine Alfa followed visits to Germany, Austria and Sweden with meetings with hosts across the United Kingdom whose generosity is helping to transform lives.'' 

Among the stories told in the Paris exhibition is that of Louis, who after fleeing persecution in Mali on account of his homosexuality found understanding and support from Armand and Christophe, a couple who agreed to host him in their apartment in the French capital. 

Portraits that tell of European solidarity 

From June 13 until July 29, visitors to the Paris exhibition will find 15 large-scale portraits of families that include both the refugees and those hosting them, showing the difference between them and ''some governments and politicians who have called for tighter borders'', the UNHCR said. 

''It is by coming together in solidarity that we can better support refugees integrate and feel welcome. It is also a unique opportunity for us to understand their experiences and journeys, and to discover and learn from their talents'', Celine Schmitt, UNHCR spokesperson in France, was quoted on the body's website as saying. On June 20, World Refugee Day, the exhibition will be flanked by activities organized at Grand Control, where visitors will also be able to take a ''virtual trip to'' a refugee camp in Jordan.
 

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