Quakers launch new exhibition in Leeds

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Leeds Quakers have linked up with the Swarthmore Education Centre to host a powerful photographic and story exhibition.

The exhibition, entitled ‘This Light That Pushes Me’ is being shown at the centre on Woodhouse Square, behind the Leeds General Infirmary.

It will look at the work of Quaker Peacemakers in parts of Africa that have suffered from war, genocide and community breakdown.

The exhibition was officially opened last Friday by Tracey Martin, who is a Quaker from Leeds.

She said the exhibition is about bringing people together and reflecting on how to deal with tragedy in a positive manner.

“Looking at the exhibition, I ask myself could I be like these people?” said Tracey.

“People who, despite the terrible things that others did to them, made the choice not to hate but to reach out to the people who hurt them and others to try to bring peace.”

Mustufa, who is originally from Guinea and now has refuge in Leeds, spoke of his own experiences whilst visiting the exhibition.

He said: “When the rebels came, they said to people ‘do you want a short or a long sleeve?’

“Then they cut off peoples arms above or below the elbow depending on how they had answered – it was terrible.”

Quakers and Swarthmore have a long association, as it was Leeds Quakers who set up the Swarthmore Education Centre in 1909.

Swarthmore is now an independent charity and seeks to inspire lives through friendly learning within a commitment to equality of opportunity.

The exhibition runs until Wednesday, October 19.

For more, visit http://www.leedsquakers.org.uk.

Joanne Mjadzelics

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