In Which Language Do We Dream?

26 March – 5 June 2022
Gallery 1
This exhibition is a co-created project, bringing together a 5-year photographic collaboration between Rich Wiles and the al-Hindawi family through discussions with curator Anne McNeill at Impressions Gallery.
It has been 10 years since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War in 2011, that has seen more than 500,000 people killed or missing and an estimated 6.6 million Syrians forced to flee their countries and homes. Within the UK, we have seen many new headlines about refuges, their plight and their changed lives. However, what happens after displacement to those who are resettled and forced to rebuild their lives? ‘In Which Language Do We Dream?’ offers the perspective of a Syrian family, the al-Hindawi family, about their first-hand experiences of displacement, integration and home.
The collaborate with the family was Rich Wiles, a documentary photographer who lived and worked for seven years in a refugee camp in Palestine before returning to England. Over a five year period, Rich worked with the family to understand and document their relationships and lives. With Rich’s support and encouragement Ruba, mother within the al-Hindawi family, began photographing herself, her husband and her children’s daily life as they navigated life.
The exhibition raises debates surrounding issues of identity, displacement, integration, and home. It challenges our perception of refugees to counter the negative views held within politics, the media, and our society. Most importantly, through co-authorship the exhibition considers the power of authentic representation by amplifying the voices and viewpoints of refugee’s experiences.

“Our lives have been different in every place, in Syria, Lebanon, and now England, and we want people to see this. Our photographs help to explain this and I want our children to be able to see how our lives have changed because I don’t know if we will ever be able to go back home or not. I like photography because photographs always take you back to the moment in which they were taken.”

- Ruba al-Hindawi

Two young boys lying on the floor underneath a bed looking at a phone.
A street front with a young girl jumping off a brick wall, in mid-air, with her young sister on the wall behind her.
On the left is a kitchen with a father opening a tin, while on the right his two children play on their Playstation.
Driffield, East Yorkshire, 2020

© al-Hindawi family/courtesy Impressions Gallery

Driffield, East Yorkshire, 2020
© al-Hindawi family/courtesy Impressions Gallery

Driffield, East Yorkshire, June 2020
© Rich Wiles/courtesy Impressions Gallery