Exhibition for National Refugee Week

 Refugees and asylum seekers regularly make the headlines, but an exhibition of photographs for National Refugee Week, which starts today, aims to make us aware of the human stories behind the statistics. Brazilian photographer Leticia Valverdes helped organise days out in London for refugee families and gave them disposable cameras to record their experiences. The families chose their own trips. Some just wanted a picnic, others wanted to see some of capital's famous sights. Many of the people featured in the exhibition have had their applications for asylum turned down and face an uncertain future. But for all the families it was a rare chance to forget the troubled life they left behind in Rwanda or Afghanistan, the Sudan or Albania. Poland or Angola. Just for a day. The show includes pictures by a woman teacher from Afghanistan; who fled the country after her husband and several members of her family were tortured for criticizing the Taliban government. There are also pictures by a nurse from Rwanda who lost her family in the genocide there; a 66 year-old woman MP from the Sudan forced into exile by the civil war which overthrew her government and a Romany family from Poland forced out of their home by a racist gang. The exhibition: A Day Out Can Make A Difference can be seen at Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, west London. Call: 0208 371111 for details.

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