My name is not Refugee

An Arts Council Collection National Partners Programme Exhibition

Discover a new view of life in Britain, in an exhibition of artworks chosen by a group of refugees and asylum seekers living in Colchester.

Over the past year a group of refugees and asylum seekers have worked together with Firstsite staff and Refugee Action Colchester to create an exhibition of artworks that includes pieces from the Arts Council Collection. Featuring artists Jananne Al-Ani, Peter Doig, Mona Hatoum, David Shrigley and Rachel Whiteread and more, ‘My name is not Refugee’ invites you to explore ideas and stories that are meaningful to those who selected them.

See landscape paintings, video, sculpture, ceramics and photography that inspire a different way of thinking, alongside scents that are familiar in the regions from which the group have travelled. Explore what it means to find new connections in a different place, and ponder questions about our purpose, choices and morality as human beings.

‘My name is not Refugee’ is the fourth exhibition by Firstsite as part of the Arts Council National Partners Programme, which will continue into 2022.

‘My name is not Refugee’ has been curated by Elizabeth Curry, Münevver Gülsen Ülker, Samia, Diego Robirosa and Mr and Mrs Al-Chahin, working together with many more clients of and volunteers from Refugee Action Colchester.

Refugee Action Colchester is a voluntary organisation working with refugees, asylum seekers and people with no access to public funds. Find out more

The artists featured in this exhibition are: Jananne Al-Ani, Adrian Berg, Zarina Bhimji, Christine Borland, Mark Boulos, Lisa Cheung, David Connearn, Diana Cumming, Adam Dade, Jimmie Durham, Leila Faithfull, Elsie Few, Buckminster Fuller, Anya Gallaccio, Charles Ginner, Duncan Grant, Lucy Gunning, Graham Gussin, Allan Gwynne-Jones, Sonia Hanney, Mona Hatoum, Emma Kay, John Kippin, Richard Long, Rachel Lowe, Iain MacMillan, Mike Marshall, David Nash, Mariele Neudecker, Winifred Nicholson, Jacques Nimki, Hirsch Perlman, Ingrid Pollard, Kathy Prendergast, Margaret Fisher Prout, David Robbiliard, Claude Rogers, Shimabuku, David Shrigley , Imogen Stidworthy, Rowland Suddaby, Mark Titchner, Gee Vaucher, Hubert Wellington, Rachel Whiteread, Chris Wilson and Richard Woods.

The calligraphy throughout the exhibition is by İsmail Üzümlü.


Virtual Walkthrough

My name is not Refugee is available to view as a 3D walkthrough using the player below. This virtual experience enables you to explore the physical exhibition as if you were there, at any time, remotely on a digital device.

As well as information about the featured artworks, the walkthrough also includes extracts from moving image works by Imogen Stidworthy and Mark Boulous as well as recordings of live music performances programmed alongside the exhibition.


How to use the virtual exhibition tour:

• Click on the blue box on the landing screen below to enter.
• Once inside the virtual exhibition, you can move forward and backwards by clicking on the white circles on the floor.
• To navigate left and right, click and hold down your mouse button (or equivalent) and drag left or right.
• Click on the (i) icons next to the artworks to bring up more information about artists or art pieces.
• To watch the videos, click on the play icons.

Further information on system requirements and how to access the virtual tour can be found here.

If you have any technical issues or require further assistance, please get in touch by email:

Head to Firstsite's Online Studio to explore a range of digital resources developed around the exhbition.

About the Exhibition


The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.