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Mehdi Jalalaghdamian, ‘The Tragedy of Refugees’ (detail), copyright the artist.  Photo by Frankie Shaftain-Fenner

Mehdi Jalalaghdamian: Art In Exile

Firstsite / September 3, 2022 - September 3, 2023 / Colchester, United Kingdom


Firstsite presents a special year-long exhibition by Iranian rug maker, Mehdi Jalalaghdamian.

Currently seeking asylum in the UK, Mehdi draws attention to the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers worldwide through the traditional craft of Persian rug making.

Art in Exile features three rugs made by Mehdi during his time as a refugee in Stockholm, Sweden.

Combined the three works represent the compounding challenges and influences that underpin the global migration crisis – religious and cultural conflict, notions of state and geopolitics and the mass movement and dispersal of people making treacherous journeys physically and emotionally.

Accompanying the exhibition are several films showing the creation of largest of the three rugs, Tragedy of Refugees, along with the detailed hand-drawn design Mehdi used to make this rug, plus various tools which are used in traditional rug making.

Lewis Gardens, High Street
Colchester, United Kingdom