Towards A Promised Land

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An exhibition of the children’s moving photographic testimonies is displayed in Margate Library, Cecil Square, Margate, CT9. Open Saturday 30 September 9.30 – 5pm.

Exodus Day launches Towards a Promised Land, A Book of Fragments. The 192 page publication features 80 colour and black & white photographs with essays by Abdulrazak Gurnah and Jeremy Millar. Published by Artangel and Steidl, and edited by Louise Neri, the book is available from The Outfitters Gallery, Exodus HQ and the Library on Exodus Day at a special price of £12.99.

In July 2005 Artangel launched Towards a Promised Land – Wendy Ewald’s large-scale banner photographs of children newly arrived in Margate – with fifteen black and white portraits displayed along Margate’s Sea Wall.

From 20 May 2006 the Sea Wall images will be joined by the second and final phase of Towards a Promised Land with banner photographs hung around the centre of Margate. Photographs of Uryi, Gareth, Glenn, Celeste, Gemma, Christian, Omar and Marianne from London, Derby, Belfast, Iraq, Germany, Belarus, Egypt and the Congo will be shown in the Dreamland funfair, Margate Library and on the walls of a cinema, a pub, a fish and chip shop and a domestic home.

Ewald has taken portraits of the children in locations of their choosing around Margate as well as photographs of their possessions, selected from belongings brought with them to Margate. The possessions evoke homes and lives left behind from Northern Ireland to Africa.

Towards a Promised Land is a project commissioned and produced by Artangel, in collaboration with Creative Partnerships, Kent/Arts Council England and supported by the Small Voice Foundation. The project has involved twenty-two children and young people who arrived on the Isle of Thanet from both near and far. Some come from places affected by war, poverty or political unrest, others simply as a consequence of changes in their domestic circumstances. Working with Wendy Ewald, the children have learned, through photography, to explore and understand their worlds and express different experiences of relocation and the search for a better life.

Towards a Promised Land has taken Wendy Ewald two years to develop during which time she interviewed and photographed the children as well as taught them how to use a camera. These images will be displayed with documentation about the development of the project and other earlier work by Ewald in Margate Library from 20 May 2006.

For more than twenty five years, artist Wendy Ewald has worked with young people around the world, encouraging her students to become photographers and working as a “translator” of their images. Ewald’s long-standing commitment to helping children realise the worth of their own visions has gained her international recognition and numerous awards.