Roots and routes - survivors' tales
Gallery of tiles:View a selection of the mosaic tiles and read the survivor stories behind them >>
The Mayor of Islington has unveiled a spectacular mosaic designed by Freedom from Torture clients in Gillespie Park, Islington.The mosaic, which opened to the public in September 2012, is the creation of survivors of torture seeking refuge in the UK. The contributors attend the Natural Growth Project at Freedom from Torture; a group that seeks, through the combination of psychotherapy and nature, to facilitate the restoration of hope to people whose lives have been devastated by torture. The starting point of the mosaic was clay from the earth and the design emerged from the theme of roots. The mosaic reflects the cultural roots, homeland experiences and persecution suffered by Freedom from Torture clients in their home countries, as well as their personal experiences of what it means to be an asylum seeker or refugee in the UK. The people who created the mosaic come from Cameroon, Chechnya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iran, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Uganda. It has been placed in the park with the hope of raising awareness of torture and the struggles survivors face, and to contribute to public enjoyment of the park. As one client remarked:
The project was generously funded by Ecominds, a funding scheme run by the mental health charity Mind on behalf of the Big Lottery Fund. It is installed in Gillespie Park in partnership with Islington Council.It's a long journey from where I was a few years back...it's like we are telling our story to the world. It's like our voices."