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Empowering Latin American women through art

This week Southwark Council's Tooley Street headquarters has played host to the 'Empowerment through Art: Photography and Latin American Migrants Girls in London' exhibition.

Empowering Latin American women through art

The touring exhibition focuses on the lives of a group of young Latin American women who have recently arrived in the UK.

Working with Mexican-British photographer Pablo Allison, the Latin American Women's Rights Service (LAWRS) and the University of Nottingham, the girls have used photography to capture processes of change and empowerment in their lives.

The exhibition gathers past and present images of the participants who took part in a series of photographic workshops addressing themes such as women's agency, independence, freedom, memory and identity.

The young women – from Colombia, Bolivia and Ecuador – developed their photography skills and each produced a visual diary representative of their personal experiences of living in the UK.

The photographic diaries, along with a portrait taken of each participant by Pablo Allison, are displayed in the exhibition.

"We are thrilled to have supported such as imaginative and inspiring project," said Cllr Claire Hickson, cabinet member for communities and economic wellbeing.

"I hope visitors of all backgrounds will be encouraged by the stories and go on to fulfil their own potential in a way that positively impacts upon their local communities."

Carolina Gottardo, director of LAWRS, added: "They are not victims; these are young women, who can stand with their heads held high, looking toward the future.

"They are young women with ideals and potential, even though their situation as Latin American migrants in an unfamiliar country with little knowledge of the language and the customs is not easy; even when they have to face up to stereotypes about young women immigrants from an ethnic minority."

• The exhibition is on show in the atrium at 160 Tooley Street until Friday 17 May.

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