São Paulo – The exhibition “Em casa, no Brasil” [At Home, in Brazil] started this Tuesday (18) at Sesc Campo Limpo in São Paulo. Hold by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), it is supported by SESC SP and “Estou Refugiado,” a NGO that helps refugees find jobs in Brazil. The exhibition takes place inside a housing unit for refugee camps (pictured above), where testimonies from 13 refugees in Brazil are printed.
UNHCR uses this temporary housing units in several camps around the world, such as Roraima, Brazil. The testimonies at the exhibition are written by people from nine different countries, including Syria. Their accounts talk about the reason why they feel at home in Brazilian soil. For Ghazal Baranbo from Damasco, the most affectionate reminder of her homeland comes when her relatives visit her on Fridays. The 37-years-old is a refugee in Brazil with her husband and children. “Watching my kids grow healthy makes me feel at home in Brazil,” she says in her testimony at the exhibition.
The show opened to mark the end of the course Human Refugees, which was given for teachers. It featured UNHCR Brazil representative Jose Egas. “Refuge is a tool for protection. Be opinion-makers and show these people’s reality in an empathic way. Refuge is a situation that may happen to all,” Egas told the teachers.
The UNHCR representative stressed the need to educate students by having them see the exhibit – which will be back at Sesc Campo Limpo next September – and witness the reality of refugees up close. The showing will open to the public on June 20, World Refugee Day, at SESC Osasco, where it will run until July 11. It will also open at Rio de Janeiro’s Centro Cultural dos Correios, June 26 at 6:30 pm.
Accounts by people from Afghanistan, Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Venezuela. Words like “peace,” “safety,” “prosperity” and “freedom” are recurrent, although each story reveals unique cultural traits and characteristics that will touch visitors’ hearts.
The Refugee Housing Unit (RHU) is a lightweight steel frame boasting solar-powered lamps and mobile charging, plus an innovative anchoring system and adaptability to different weather conditions. The facilities can shelter up to five people each and are currently available in six temporary shelters managed by the UNHCR and partner organizations in Boa Vista (Rondon 1, Rondon 2, Rondon 3, Jardim Floresta, Nova Canaã, and São Vicente). Approximately 600 units are currently up and running.
Exhibition “Em Casa, No Brasil”
São Paulo – SESC Osasco
June 20 – July 11
Avenida Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, 1300 – Jardim das Flores
Rio de Janeiro – Centro Cultural dos Correios
June 27 – July 7
Rua Visconde de Itaboraí, 20 – Centro
Translated by Guilherme Miranda & Gabriel Pomerancblum