Thursday 26th 18:00-19:30

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Caroline Burraway in conversation with Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou 

In the framework of Refugee Week 2022, the visual artist Caroline Burraway takes us through her work and discusses with the curator Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou and the participants contemporary issues that arise. To what extent is socially engaged art a means of propaganda? How does she as an artist choose to work over the time and over the different locations and how important is consistency and trust in such processes? What are her thoughts regarding ethics and “safe space” for such a work to happen? The artist will present works from Moria (Lesvos) to the Jungle (Calais) as well as her future plans and concerns about the current political situation at the borders of Europe. 

Caroline Burraway BA (Hons), MAFA

A British contemporary artist, Burraway studied BA (Hons) Drawing at Camberwell College of Arts and MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martins.In a compassion-fatigued world where the relentless circulation of negative imagery has shaped increasingly dangerous forms of apathy and indifference, Burraway looks for new ways the contemporary audience can engage with her work and uses the power of art to encourage awareness, critical thought and debate around current, important socio-political issues. Burraway has been responding to the refugee crisis since 2015, filming and collecting research materials in refugee camps across Europe which she uses for installations, video, and large-scale drawings. This project, supported by UNHCR, aims to provoke a humanitarian response to the twin issues of displacement and dispossession, while questioning the differential values placed on a Western life and the life of a refugee arriving at the borders of the Western world.Working with multiple layers of meaning and ways of seeing, Burraway attempts to trace the contours of refugee lives in a fuller complexity, showing not just the scars of their past, but also the meanings and joys which, like all people everywhere, they create on a daily basis, dreaming of futures they hope to bring about.


Burraway’s new installation, Ungrievable Lives, comprising 13 children’s dresses made from lifejackets she gathered from the Lifejacket Graveyard in Lesvos, inspired British composer Charlotte Bray to write a new string quartet and both pieces together had their world premiere at the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg in April.  They will tour to London’s Wigmore Hall, Vienna (Konzerthaus), Finland and Sante Fe Chamber Music Festival throughout the course of 2022/23.  Each dress represents 1 of the 13 million child refugees worldwide, signifying the absent body and evoking memory, absence and loss.  The dresses are an invitation to the viewer to meditate and contemplate the story of the refugee’s journey and loss as they try to reach the shores of Europe.   


Burraway has taken part in numerous group and solo exhibitions, public installations and film screenings both at home and internationally, and has been nominated for several awards such as, First Prize Winner of the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize 2018 (formerly Jerwood).  In 2017 she collaborated with architects on the ‘Holocaust Memorial’.  Exhibitions include, Draw Art Fair London, Saatchi Gallery; UNESCO International Exhibition on Human Rights, Italy; Jerwood Drawing Prize.  Burraway has been invited to write about her work in several art journals and national magazines such as: Interalia Magazine on Drawing as Process.


Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou 

Niovi Zarampouka-Chatzimanou, is the Director of Victoria Square Project curating it’s long term research program “Who is the Contemporary Athenian?”. She is currently a fellow of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Public Humanities Initiative at Columbia University. Niovi is the co-founder of MΕΣΑ Museum of Free Thinking People, a contemporary art outreach project for prisoners in Greece. Before joining Victoria Square Project she worked as Director of Art in Public Space at Eleusis 2021 European capital of Culture, and contributed in documenta 14 as Community Liaison in Athens.

With an academic background in architecture and cultural management (MA), her research interests focus on socially and politically engaged art projects and the public space as a constellation of political and social transformations. Her work experience involves working with a wide range of institutions, projects and artists, like The Peggy Guggenheim Collection (Venice, IT), T.A.M.A. and Souzy Tros (Athens, GR), The Museum of Cycladic Art (Athens, GR), Viafarini DOCVA (Milan, IT) and Venice Biennial (Venice, IT).

Watch the film “Precarious” HERE