During the summer of 2016, a group of University of Edinburgh students travelled to Zotzenheim in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate to take part in a project which aims to help refugees arriving in the country to integrate into their new home.
Many of the volunteers take German as their main programme of study in the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, while some of the others, including a History of Art - MA student at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), went as part of a German elective course they took.
The main focus of the project was to help refugee children develop their language skills and settle into their new community. In collaboration with ECA students, the volunteers have created an exhibition of photography, installations, animation and design which showcase the project, as well as putting it into the wider context of mass migration and the experiences of refugees.
“I hope that the locals have received the positive message that young British people are willing to help and that there is hope after Brexit," said Ellen Smith, a History of Art - MA student who volunteered during the summer, "There was initial anxiety about us staying in the village but I hope that through our community outreach work and cultural exchange, we made a good impression so that any negative attitudes towards foreigners have been changed, or at least challenged.”
The exhibition will be open for the remainder of the 2016/17 academic year.