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Tracey Derrick Photographer South Africa

 

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"The high number of refugees expresses the sad, tragic situation that Africa is really in.", 1996.
"As mothers we have an extra stress load - we care for our children as well as all our basic needs," 1996.
"I could not speak a word of English when I first arrived in Cape Town - I now have a job in a local restaurant and am learning very quickly," 1996.
The Ark - City of Refuge, is a registered Church and Community Centre, 1996.
"We ran away from our own countries because of politics, hunger, friends and family being killed - basically for being in the wrong place at the wrong time," 1996.
"It is a miracle that all of us survived the trip to Cape Town," 1996.
         
Hope from Home

Refugees from Africa living in Cape Town

Our April 1994 elections in South Africa made such an impact on me, that I travelled to Moçambique in October 1994 to witness their first democratic elections. It was a time of great change in that war ravaged country, so thousands of refugees were returning home because of the promise of peace and a first chance to vote for their own leaders. With the help of UNHCR, I travelled to Malawi and then returned with the refugees into Mutarara, north of Moçambique - an area devastated by the war.

It was an emotional experience to be with people who were finally returning to where they belonged. People who had been through the horrors of war - who as a result of terror and violence had to leave their homes with only what they could carry. They returned with little, but were filled with hope for a new future.

Back in Cape Town, UNHCR commissioned me to create an edeucational project around refugees living in Cape Town from all over Africa. I met some refugees that were staying in a church in Woodstock. One of them, an Angolan, worked in the kitchen of a local restaurant and I started giving him English lessons. Through him I met the Angolan football team and then started the long process of finding refugees.

The refugees that I met were like us - they had similar needs, and their priorities in life are universal - like wanting to live securely in a comfortable home. I encountered an incredible strength and sense of survival and they opened and shared their lives with me. Their continual resources of hope are an inspiration for all to remember.

Tracey Derrick
1997

 

Solo Exhibitions

* March 1997 The Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa.
* July 1998 Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria, South Africa.
* September 2000 South African Embassy, Swaziland.

Group Exhibition

* March 2002 'Voices in Transit', Cape Town Festival, Cape Town train station.