On the 13th and 14th of July, our project, Crossed Paths of Europe, hosted its first public exhibition in Edinburgh.

The exhibition took place at the Eric Liddell Centre, a community centre in the Morningside area of Edinburgh.

Our photographers and members of the public looking at a small proportion of the exhibition.

Tackling the challenges of rising hate crimes across the UK in response to the Brexit vote in 2016, and the resultant social exclusion, the Crossed Paths of Europe exhibition aimed to increase awareness of the inclusiveness of the European identity by comparing pictures taken by refugees and local residents. The pictures were collected from volunteers across Europe, from Austria to Slovenia, highlighting their daily lives and what being European means to them. As a collection, the photographs highlighted the nuances of living in Europe and provided a lens through which to view the European identity.

Over fifty members of the public attended the exhibition, as well as five of the volunteer photographers – who were able to form connections with each other through the discussions prompted by the photographs, as can be seen in the photo below. The photographers and attendees alike enjoyed the exhibition and found the similarities and differences between their daily lives and the lives of others particularly striking, be they in the same city or at the other end of the continent.

The exhibition prompted many discussions, about the importance of Europe to people across Scotland and the European continent – touching on topics like free movement, the economy, and why many people in the UK feel disconnected from the concept of Europe. These discussions also stemmed from the articles written by volunteers which were also displayed at our exhibition, which you can read here, here, and here. Through the multi-faceted experience, the attendees were able to engage with political and social issues from across the continent, and understand these issues from perspectives very different to their own. One attendee highlighted how important this was in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, through providing insights into the multiple discourses of being European.

Something which was a more unexpected outcome of the exhibition, but equally rewarding, was the fact that the volunteer photographers – both those who attended the exhibition and those who were following the exhibition on our social media channels – felt they were part of a community who were actively making a difference to Europe.

Do you have questions or comments on the project?
Contact Emma or Kawthwar at crossedpathsofeurope@gmail.com

This event is part of FutureLab Europe’s Crossed Paths of Europe project.