Birmingham & Black Country

Images of asylum seeker's life in Birmingham on display

Hassan Image copyright Hassan
Image caption Hassan's photos will be on show at the Gap in Balsall Heath until 16 July

Photographs taken by an Afghan asylum seeker documenting the lives he and his friends lead in Birmingham go on display later.

Hassan, 17, arrived in the city last summer after spending several months in The Jungle in Calais.

He became involved in photography with the help of a charity and has spent eight months compiling images to go on show for a month in Balsall Heath.

They depict daily life, aspirations and what the future holds.

Hassan, who is living with a foster family in Erdington, said: "The photos show our life before and how our life is now, and what we do in the future."

Image copyright Hassan
Image caption Hassan and his friends aspire to study and learn in the city one day

He said he felt a real affiliation with Birmingham, describing it as the "best city in England".

"You can find here different cultures all together and no-one says I am better than you," he said.

Image copyright Hassan
Image caption "Hassan shows this idea of how they live this life of non-persons"

He said he would like to be a politician and work towards peace in the world.

Ceri Townsend, from The Gap charity based in a former print works in Balsall Heath, where the images will be on display until 16 July, said: "He shows this idea of how they live this life of non-persons.

Image copyright Hassan
Image caption Hassan described Birmingham as "the best city in England"

"There's no faces shown... so he reflects their precarious status really through various techniques."

She said Hassan became separated from his twin bother on the journey to the UK but they have since been reunited.

Image copyright The Gap
Image caption The exhibition opens on 20 June and runs until 16 July

"He talks endlessly about Afghanistan and how he wants to be president and sort out all the problems there.

"But seeing the number of homeless people in Birmingham, he says they are also like refugees in the life they lead."

He received funding for the exhibition through a project called Birmingham Soup that uses a crowd-funding model to get city projects off the ground.

Potential sponsors meet for a communal meal of cream of tomato soup and decide who to support.

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