To The City

This collaborative work explores experiences of resettlement for refugees through the creation of replica mobile phone SIM cards - the new ‘keys to the city’ that transcend borders and help new arrivals integrate. Handmade in silver, the tiny precious SIMs are engraved with messages expressing participants aspirations for the future.

The first chapter of this project took place in Coventry, the fastest growing UK city and first to welcome migrants on an exemplary UN resettlement programme. The project was guided by the creativity of refugees and skills of local craftsman who produced ten minute engraved silver SIM sculptures. Within the Herbert Museum and Art gallery an immersive, portable installation presented the SIMs themselves. Alongside ten lightboxes displayed images of the SIMS taken with a macro lens to enable audiences to engage closely with the engraved illustrations. Presented within a vitrine, I curated a timeline of keys from the city’s collections dating from 11th Century to present day.