Lula posing in front of a brick wall. She is facing the camera and smiling brightly.
A woman stands in front of a yellow curtain. She is wearing gold jewellery and is smiling broadly. There is a white ring around the frame.
A woman stands in front of a yellow curtain. She is wearing gold jewellery and is smiling broadly. He is facing away from the camera and smiling broadly.
A man is crouched beside his young daughter on a narrow road. They are both smiling towards the camera. His daughter wears a tulle dress while he wears a t-shirt and jeans.
A smiling man poses outdoors in front of some large trees. He is smiling with his eyes shut and is facing to the right of the camera.
A black woman with braided hair poses on an indoor picnic bench. There is a large houseplant behind her and several glasses vases of tulips in front of her. She is leaning on the table top with her head turned over her shoulder and towards the camera.
A black and white portrait of a smiling couple. The man has dark hair and dark facial hair and wears a button up cardigan. The woman has dark hair and dark lipstick. She poses with her hand on his shoulder.
Aref stands in front of a brick wall. He is wearing a t-shirt and jeans and colourful runners. He faces the camera holding a string instrument in both hands.

Everyday Hope

Najma Abukar

image: Lula

Everyday Hope is a series of photographic portraits by artist Najma Abukar, accompanied by conversations with eight people who have lived experience of forced displacement and who are now settled in Scotland.

The exhibition and project brought together people who have migrated from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Eritrea and Ukraine, and interwove their voices from different generations and backgrounds. People who arrived in Scotland very recently, and people who settled here some 20 years ago.

People are people, and they come here looking for life. They leave lots behind. They hope that they can build a life here, they hope that they can belong to here.

Abukar shared conversation with participants about their personal life experiences, family, community, war, peace building and survival. Most of all, they talked about hope. Hope for themselves, hope for community, for future generations, collective hope and hope for the everyday. The struggle to hold onto hope in impossible circumstances, but also the very real need to have hope.

Hope for me means survival… Because without that I wouldn’t have survived.

Everyday Hope launched on World Refugee Day, Tuesday 20 June 2023 at Civic House in Glasgow. You can listen to Everyday Hope conversations here.

Najma Abukar

Najma Abukar is a Somalian-born photographer who has resettled in Scotland. Her work documents cultural and gender identities, the African diaspora, and immigrant experiences. Being a first-generation migrant woman of African heritage, her photographic body of work focuses on the strife and resilience of the Other. Najma’s practice is concerned with issues of identity, belonging and (self) representation within the Scottish landscape.

Refugee Festival Scotland

Refugee Festival Scotland celebrates the contribution refugees and asylum seekers make to Scotland and the welcome offered by local people. Refugee Festival Scotland 2023 is the festival’s 22 edition, with 100+ events taking place across Scotland which include: campaigning, exhibitions, food, discussions, music, dance, sports, storytelling, children and family activities.