Refugees who have fled civil war, conflict and danger from Iraq, Afghanistan, Came-roon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Ivory Coast are trying to make a life for themselves in Moscow. Throughout 2013 and early 2014, British art — photographer Matthew Webb spent time with these refugees watching their ups and downs.
Those refugees and families in need rely on support of the Moscow Protestant Chap-laincy (MPC) Social Services Centre in Moscow which provides emergency food parcels, social & medical support. The Centre is a place where they can develop important friendships. This exhibition, on show at the Russian State Darwin Museum from 4th February, 2014 until 9th March, 2014, is a series of poignant photographs, which capture the vitality and strength of those who have sought refuge in Moscow.
Ibrahim, 54, came to Moscow six years ago with his daughter to escape the war in Iraq. Due to poor health, he has not been able to find work. Zahra, 34, fled Afghanistan with her husband and three young daughters. Her husband is very sick so she has to take care of him too. Junior, 28, fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo two years ago when he witnessed the murder of his pastor and his life was put in danger.
«Spending time with refugees at the centre has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Most of the refugees at the Centre don’t speak Russian nor have they long-term visas and work permits.Consequently they have faced immense difficulties finding work and simply surviving — despite having useful talents and skills. … Many live in cramped conditions with several living in one room. Yet, most share the same dream — to return home to the family and friends they left behind. «says Webb,— „I hope my photographs will raise awareness of these courageous and talented men and women who are actively looking for work in Moscow. I hope it can also highlight the vital work that the MPC Social Services does and encourages organizations to donate or provide employment“.»
ABOUT MPC SOCIAL SERVICES
MPC Social Services, part-funded by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), has been helping those in most need in Moscow including United Nations refugees, pensioners, single mothers and children for more than 20 years, ensuring access to food, medical consultation, clothing and shelter.
The MPC centre is very keen to speak with any organization interested in providing employment for their refugees, contributing financially to the running of the MPC centre, or launching food & clothing drives.