“I’m not in the business of making work where I repeat the trauma.

My work is about attempting to belong, about understanding who we are as black people in the diaspora, how much we have contributed across Europe in terms of culture, building, the wealth of the European machine.

Never mind the American machine, that’s a whole other story.

My work is a kind of handbook – I think of it as a sort of car manual – to deal with the ghosts of what has happened.”


“We have an easy, lazy way of saying ‘refugees’. I think about people being actual people – each one born out of someone’s womb.

So if you were to say,

‘off the boat today came Mohammed or David or John’ and then added that, ‘before they left, they were a carpenter, a doctor, a teacher……’,  it is then they would start to breathe.

We must not do this distancing – we are none of us more important than others.”

                                LUBIANA HIMID

WISDOM IN THE VEIL (Age of No Return Series): Kwesi Botchway, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 54 cm, 2017, signed. Courtesy of the artist.


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