I decided that I was going to try to convey some of the lessons that I'd learned about being a human being from the refugees to people around me in my community
Kate Daudy is a London-based artist who created ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ She transformed a UNHCR tent from Za’atari camp in Jordan, into an art installation that speaks of the dignity and hope of refugees.
UNHCR organised for Daudy to visit several camps and sites on different occasions where she met with the displaced, activists, war-wounded, volunteers, doctors, diplomats and other aid organisations. She asked them about their experience of the refugee crisis, and their observations about home and identity rising from it.
The courage, perseverance and dignity of the people she met struck Daudy deeply, and these positive core human qualities — along with the terrible collateral results of war, climate change, hatred and violence, which the refugees have gone through — have become the overriding message of the tent. We can all help one another. We are all connected. Our life is what our thoughts make it.
The crochet elements of the tent were made by women in Syria and transported to London in often circuitous circumstances. Daudy commissioned the circles to create an enormous tree of hope, as well as bushes of hollyhocks, so that the tent is inscribed with work and words of the refugees themselves.
Follow the journey of ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’
Manifesta, Palermo 2018, Sicily, Italy
April - July 2018
Following Spain ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ travelled eastwards to Italy, where it was on display at Chiesa Santa Rosalia church, in the city of Palermo.
A procession travelled through the town, with people holding up messages and quotes from refugees.
September 2017 - January 2018
Daudy’s tent travelled to Spain, making appearences in churches and universities, including the Iglesia del Seminario in the city of Segovia.
The tent also went to the Hay Festival in Segovia, where it formed part of a tour of eleven art installations, asking visitors to consider the themes of home and identity. During the festival, Daudy took part in a panel discussion with Lord Dubs, Labour peer and a leader in migration policy.
November - December 2017
The European tour began in Brussels, where ‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ was installed at the AidEx Conference and Flagey concert hall.
Around the UK
St Paul’s Cathedral, London
Refugee Week, June 2019
During Refugee Week the tent was installed inside one of London's most iconic buildings, St Paul’s Cathedral. The work was exhibited alongside Bill Viola, Marc Wallinger and Henry Moore. Events included panel discussions, performances from Steven Isserlis, Novelist and talks from Joe Boyd and Clarissa Ward.
The Reverend Canon Tricia Hillas, Pastor of St Paul’s who oversaw the installation, said:
“Ideas of ‘home’ and ‘shelter’ are at the heart of my own understanding of the Christian faith … I find the vulnerability and transitory nature of the tent at the centre of this installation, sheltered as it is for a time within this vast, solid cathedral, deeply moving,”
July 24 - 28 2017
Daudy’s work once again took centre stage during SOAS’s graduation ceremonies.
SOAS Director, Baroness Valerie Amos said: “It is fitting that this artwork should be at SOAS for this year’s graduation ceremonies. SOAS students have played a leading role in campaigning on refugee issues and supporting refugee families in the UK."
June 22 - 25 2017
‘Am I My Brother’s Keeper?’ returned to London's Migration Museum, where it formed the centrepiece of our celebration of Refugee Week. The evening event included speeches from Kate Daudy, UNHCR's UK Representative Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, and Syrian refugee, Maya Ghazal.