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Arcade at Bush House, London
01 October 2019 - 22 November 2019
London-based Syrian artist Sara Shamma opens her latest exhibition, Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery (1 October – 22 November 2019) at Bush House, King’s College London today, 1 October 2019. In partnership with King’s College London and the Helen Bamber Foundation, the exhibition portrays women’s experiences of survival and recovery from modern slavery through a series of large-scale paintings and oil sketches and has been curated by independent curator Kathleen Soriano.

As part of Shamma’s residency at King’s College London, she has worked with Dr Siân Oram at the university’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) and with the Helen Bamber Foundation to conduct research interviews with women survivors of modern slavery and develop a new visual vocabulary of modern slavery. Research conducted to inform the exhibition will also be used by Dr Oram, Senior Lecturer in Women’s Mental Health at the IoPPN, in research projects aimed at reducing the risk and impact of violence against women.

Of the exhibition, artist Sara Shamma states:
‘After the first interview with a survivor, I couldn’t sleep, I was imagining pictures, noises, smells…after meeting several women and hearing their stories, I went back to my studio and started working without any plans about the outcome of my work, I think the sub-conscious is the source of creativity, these paintings are my reaction about what I learned, they are not illustration of what happened, but the feeling that these stories leave in you’.

There will be a series of public events exploring the modern slavery and the issues raised by the exhibition. These will include panel discussions with the artists and representatives of King’s College London and the Helen Bamber Foundation. An ‘in conversation’ event with Sara Shamma and curator Kathleen Soriano will explore themes of the exhibition, as well as Shamma’s experience of hearing about women and girls who have been kidnapped by ISIS in Syria and Iraq, displayed in real slave markets, exhibited on platforms in front of hundreds of men, examined by avid eyes and hands and sold to the highest bidder, how all this influenced her works.


Women in Mind: Modern Slavery
15 October 2019, 18:00 to 20:30
Bush House
This panel talk will explore and extrapolate the political, artistic and humanitarian issues raised by the Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery exhibition. Open to all.
The discussion will take place in Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 with a reception afterwards in the Arcade and an opportunity to see the exhibition.
Women in Mind is a series of events by the Women and Mental Health Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists, in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, aiming to engage health professionals and the public in debate and discussion about challenges to women’s mental health across the life cycle.
For more info

ESRC Festival: Understanding Modern Slavery
05 November 2019, 13:00 to 15:00
Bush House
King’s College London will host a symposium on “understanding modern slavery”, which aims to bring together early career researchers and students. Interested parties will be encouraged to contribute to and help shape the symposium through submissions of research abstracts for oral presentation. Open to all.
This event, held as part of the 17th annual Festival of Social Science, provides an opportunity to hear about and discuss the latest findings, methods and ideas about understanding modern slavery, and to meet and speak with others conducting work or interested in this area
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Private View of Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery (Alumni exclusive)
12 November 2019, 17:30 – 19:00 GMT
As part of King’s London Leadership Network Series, an exclusive private view of the Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery exhibition will take place in King’s exhibition space at the Arcade in Bush House for a behind-the-scenes visit. King’s Alumni will have the chance to hear from the artist herself, as well as curator Kathleen Soriano and Dr Siân Oram, lecturer in Women's Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King's. (Alumni exclusive).
For more info

Sara Shamma and Kathleen Soriano in conversation
20 November 2019, 18:00 to 20:30
Bush House
Join artist Sara Shamma and curator Kathleen Soriano for a discussion about Shamma’s work and her current exhibition at King's, Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery. Open to all
The discussion will take place in Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 with a reception afterwards in the Arcade and an opportunity to see the exhibition.
For more info
Sara Shamma, Modern Slavery 2019