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Dr Sana Murrani came to speak at the global Health Café on her work with refugees and asylum seekers. Working in the University of Plymouth School of Art, Design and Architecture as an Associate Professor of Spatial Practice she explained how she is interested in the concept of movement across boarders and through barriers and people memories and feelings of home.

In June she held an exhibition of the work she had been doing with refugees and it was that work that she came to speak about at the Global Health Café. 

The project she ran was called ‘Refugees Mapping Memories’ and she worked with a group of refugees and asylum seekers creating maps of their memories of home. 

She encouraged the participants to talk to her, in their own languages, about their memories of home and of familiar journeys they took, for example from their home to the local shops, or to and from school. 

She worked with them to build powerful pieces of art incorporating maps of home and memories. She said of the project “After a while, we stopped speaking of ‘home’ as a specific geographic place and instead memories of the everyday replaced its physicality. Home then became a notion that each and every map conveyed differently. 

We found synergies between the recovery of memory and its spatial representation manifested in layers and overlays, collages, and different scales. Each one of these maps represent a journey through time, scale and complexity – it’s the individual’s recovery space.”

She spoke about how the project seemed to allow a space for the participants to speak about their traumatic journeys and find a space to begin healing with their memories. 

More information about the project can be found on our website.