To Walk In Your Shoes

In 2013 Rachael Munro-Fawcett and Redbobble Arts joined together to form a unique collaboration featuring a documentary photography exhibition and piece of verbatim theatre exploring the topic of what it means to seek asylum. With constant negative reports in the press surrounding the topic of immigration, To Walk In Your Shoes focuses on the strength and resilience of the human spirit and challenges the myths and untruths perpetuated by the media.


Partnering with relevant charities including including City of Sanctuary and PAFRAS they visited drop ins, community groups and temporary housing to gather research and stories from Syria, Iran, Pakistan, Somalia and Eritrea, recounting peoples experiences of living in the UK. 


The exhibition and show toured to audiences across the country and was shown at The Lowry Salford, Amnesty International Wakefield, Hope Mill Theatre Manchester, Seven Arts Leeds, RNCM, Theatre Deli Sheffield and New Vic Theatre Stoke. Funded by Arts Council England.


 To Walk In Your Shoes Exhibition.

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Imran is an asylum seeker and lives with her mother and father in temporary housing in Manchester.Their future at the time (2013) was unpredictable with the threat of Imran's father being deported back to India and Imran and her mother facing deportation back to Pakistan.

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Imran is an asylum seeker and lives with her mother and father in temporary housing in Manchester.Their future at the time (2013) was unpredictable with the threat of Imran's father being deported back to India and Imran and her mother facing deportation back to Pakistan.

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Imran, asylum seeker.

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Imran, asylum seeker.

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An elderly asylum seeker rhythmically rubs his prayer beads whilst waiting in line for food at the Pafras drop in centre. There are over 100 asylum seekers and refugees gathered at the centre to receive a hot meal and clothing donations that day. 

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An elderly asylum seeker rhythmically rubs his prayer beads whilst waiting in line for food at the Pafras drop in centre. There are over 100 asylum seekers and refugees gathered at the centre to receive a hot meal and clothing donations that day. 

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In a high rise flat on the outskirts of Leeds, she waits for a reunion with her three children who are over 6000 miles away in Somalia. She has been granted refugee status with the right to remain and work in the UK but now faces a legal battle for the right for her children to join her. 

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In a high rise flat on the outskirts of Leeds, she waits for a reunion with her three children who are over 6000 miles away in Somalia. She has been granted refugee status with the right to remain and work in the UK but now faces a legal battle for the right for her children to join her. 

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Beautiful and proud in traditional Somali dress. 

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Beautiful and proud in traditional Somali dress. 

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She shows me a photograph of herself when she was younger in Somalia. She tells me she likes this photograph, it makes her feel happy. 

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She shows me a photograph of herself when she was younger in Somalia. She tells me she likes this photograph, it makes her feel happy. 

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Faisal, a destitute asylum seeker sits in a small coffee house in Harehills Leeds. The owner sometimes gives him free coffee and something to eat. He tells me that every day he spends his time looking for somewhere to sleep that night. Either outside or on dirty floors where other asylum seekers are housed. 

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Faisal, a destitute asylum seeker sits in a small coffee house in Harehills Leeds. The owner sometimes gives him free coffee and something to eat. He tells me that every day he spends his time looking for somewhere to sleep that night. Either outside or on dirty floors where other asylum seekers are housed. 

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Watching the birds fly over the lake at Roundhay Park. Faisal. 

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Watching the birds fly over the lake at Roundhay Park. Faisal. 

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The Open Door community cafe in Manchester that provided clothing donations to asylum seekers and refugees now closed. 

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The Open Door community cafe in Manchester that provided clothing donations to asylum seekers and refugees now closed. 

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Ali, an asylum seeker chooses to remain anonymous for the photograph. This became a common request during the project due to people fearing a revealed identity could affect their application to remain in the UK or endanger themselves or their family if they were forcibly returned to their countries of origin.  

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Ali, an asylum seeker chooses to remain anonymous for the photograph. This became a common request during the project due to people fearing a revealed identity could affect their application to remain in the UK or endanger themselves or their family if they were forcibly returned to their countries of origin.  

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Within the safety of the Pafras community drop in centre.  Pafras provide humanitarian relief to asylum seekers and refugees who are not allowed benefits or housing, providing people with a safe and welcoming space to access help and support. 

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Within the safety of the Pafras community drop in centre.  Pafras provide humanitarian relief to asylum seekers and refugees who are not allowed benefits or housing, providing people with a safe and welcoming space to access help and support. 

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A group of young men sit and wait to see a support  worker at the Pafras community centre. The centre provides mental health support and casework support to asylum seekers and refugees on a weekly basis. 

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A group of young men sit and wait to see a support  worker at the Pafras community centre. The centre provides mental health support and casework support to asylum seekers and refugees on a weekly basis. 

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A young woman and her family have had their claim for asylum accepted and granted. Despite the controversial and untruthful reporting told by the media on the number of asylum seekers living and working in the UK, application claims are often rejected and people are forcibly returned to their country of origin.

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A young woman and her family have had their claim for asylum accepted and granted. Despite the controversial and untruthful reporting told by the media on the number of asylum seekers living and working in the UK, application claims are often rejected and people are forcibly returned to their country of origin.

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