We Refuse to be Scapegoats was the first UK solo exhibition in the last ten years by the established British artist of mixed Eastern European Jewish heritage Pam Skelton. The exhibition featured new moving image works by Skelton with a soundscape by Wayne Brown. It represented the artist’s findings from a long-term research deriving from her own family history, and in particular, the histories, memories and impact of the Jewish Shoah (Holocaust) and the Palestinian Nakba (meaning ‘catastrophe’ or ‘disaster’) on ensuing generations in diverse geopolitical contexts.
We Refuse to be Scapegoats ran 24 June – 10 July 2021 and was extended until 17 July 2021. Free and open to all on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 12.00-18.00; Wednesday 12.00 – 20.00 and Saturday 12.00-16.00 at P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton St, London – a gallery which was established in 2013 to promote and discuss contemporary Middle Eastern and North African art and culture with a distinct focus on Palestine.
Curated by Iliyana Nedkova with contributions from John Talbot, Wayne Brown, Caterina Albano, Mathilde Jourdan, Dominik Czechowski, Tony Fletcher, Angad Kaur, Heather Kiernan, Jonathan Samuels of SamsProjects, Mare Tralla and Yahya Zaloom.
Press Release DOWNLOAD HERE
We Refuse to be Scapegoats exhibition is accompanied by an online discussion curated by Iliyana Nedkova and Pam Skelton from 5 January 2021 onwards, aiming to compile related exhibition resources – all free to watch, listen, read and download, beyond the exhibition duration. Explore this growing library of over 25 posts of contextual references to works by artists, activists and scholars. ACCESS ALL RESOURCES HERE
23 June 2021 | 18:00-20:00 | P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton St, London REGISTER HERE
7 July 2021 | 18:00-20:00 | P21 Gallery, 21 Chalton St, London RSVP HERE
Free and open to all! Limited capacity in line with all public health guidance. Please note that both private views have now closed.
During a demonstration in London in 2019, I heard the Palestinian youth activist Ahed Tamimi defiantly proclaim that she refused to be a victim, that she had reached the point of no longer being scared to speak out. Fear is the weapon that silences us. The fact is that we still live in an era of camps, detention centres and ghettos echoing what Louis McNeice declared in his 1944 anti-war poem Prayer Before Birth ‘tall walls wall us’. These are only some of the powerful words and voices of activists and artists alike I have included in my new moving image works featured in We Refuse to be Scapegoats. Pam Skelton
We Refuse to be Scapegoats encapsulates Skelton’s conviction that the struggle for equality must still haunt us lest we forget to remember the misuse of power and the cost in human lives and sufferings. In Israel Palestine, as well as in the numerous other zones of conflict where human rights abuse takes place, the past is no longer the past since it functions within the perpetual flow of multiple current crises. Iliyana Nedkova