Us&Them Project


Like the birth of my child

With a new mother tongue”


5. joannalayla_dream_blue

U S    &   T H E M

Petra KoppDominic Port, Clare Struthers and Merlin Nation curate a meaningful response to the refugee crisis.

Featuring work from Welcome to Our Jungle, in association with Calais Action– the project aims to bring to life the stories of refugees and migrants who have had to flee their home countries due to political unrest, war and persecution. It intends to show that there is no ‘us & them’ – that people’s lives are united in ordinary events, hopes and dreams and can be torn apart by extraordinary circumstances not of our own making.

The people behind this project came together in a Brighton-based Meetup group, Help Refugees Prosper exploring ways to break down the barriers and misconceptions that make people in the UK afraid or wary of refugees and migrants.

Over the past year they have been collecting stories, photos, poems, recordings and video footage for this project. Through sharing these with a wider audience, they hope to make our community a more tolerant, welcoming and accepting place for refugees coming to settle in this country.

Outside of the close-knit team, we have worked with photographers Sergey PonomarevRob Pinney and Jenny Matthews, and artist Joanna Layla. A big thank you goes out to you all, this wouldn’t have been possible without your involvement.


I was commissioned to illustrate poems by refugees from The Jungle, Calais. I have created several collections of illustrations. At this point in time due to current sensitivities I am only able to show the following.

See the website



‘Happy as Kings’

I’m sure we should all be as happy as Kings

We are all in the Jungle

All as free as wings.

I’m sure we should all be as happy as Kings

We live in a caravan

We live as safe as dreams.

I’m sure we should all be as happy as Kings

But I’m not happy

I pretend to be happy.

by Sultana









Refugee in the Jungle
“Passionate in the Sea”


5. joannalayla_dream_blue


Like the cloudless sky

On a sun filled day


Like the sleeping child

In a rocking cradle


Like the sounds of grief

Through her gritted teeth


Like the skeleton carried

In my darkest deepest sleep


Like the birth of my child

With a new mother tongue


Like carrying a heaviness

Over endless trials of fatigue


Like arriving in my home

Where my tears are my own.


A.K.A. Dream


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