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Congratulations to our student Abubaker Abdelkarim for making it to the top with his People Move photo being entered for the Portrait of Britain winners exhibition!

From People Move to British Journal of Photography ‘Portrait of Britain’ winners exhibition

An Instagram project, launched by the Daily Mirror in 2022 celebrated the idea of objects that carry meaning and bring us closer to home, even if that home is many miles away and was a place the individual was forced to flee in order to seek refuge here in the UK.

This project inspired four of our Bluecoat Beechdale students who decided to share their family’s journey from very different parts of the world including Iran, Eritrea, Sudan and Hong Kong. They were photographed by the Daily Mirror’s award-winning photographer Philip Coburn who survived a bomb attack in Afghanistan.

In 2023, a selection of these journeys captured in photographs, were transported to London for a special awareness raising event – Refugee Week – running from the 19th June. Featuring among the top 20 photos selected nationally for ‘People Move – London launch Refugee Week’ was our current year 10 student Abubaker Abdelkarim. He was invited to attend the event with an extremely proud parent and enjoyed the occasion among special guests that included Lord Alf Dubs (current member of the House of Lords and active refugee campaigner, particularly for children) and Refugee Week’s co-chair Dima Mekdad. His treasured object was a set of family photos which he holds very dear and which date back to 2003. For Abubaker they are incredibly special as he has not seen his extended family for many years – this is how he keeps each family member close to his heart.

Today, we are now thrilled to share that Abubaker’s photo has been included in the British Journal of Photography ‘Portrait of Britain’ winners exhibition. This year’s winning images showcase the diverse faces, stories and traditions that define Britain today. Throughout January 2024, each winning portrait will appear in high streets, shopping centres, train stations, roadside poster sites and iconic London bus shelters. Each photograph offers testimony to how we can empower diversity through photography. We are very proud of Abubaker’s achievement and all that he represents for our School of Sanctuary. For further information please see the following link:


Abubaker Abdelkarim, Eritrea. Aged 15


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