Swarthmore College Exhibition: Sanctuary

7 Jun - 26 Jul 2019
City Hall (4th and 5th Floors), Philadelphia, PA 19107


Islam Aly, Inception, 2019, Coptic bound book, plexiglass mirror, laser-engraved wooden boards, leather wrappings connected to seven miniature circular books. Inkjet printed text in English and Arabic. Photo courtesy of Swarthmore College. 


For Swarthmore College’s Sanctuary exhibition at City Hall, members of Philadelphia’s Iraqi and Syrian refugee communities collaborated with commissioned book artists Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist to co-create works that reflect both resiliency and challenges in navigating resettlement in Philadelphia. Part of Swarthmore College’s Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary project, the exhibition showcases works that provoke and raise questions surrounding the process of resettlement to Philadelphia and the dynamics of power between the state, community, and the individual.

Sanctuary is displayed on the 4th and 5th floors of City Hall, in collaboration with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy.

Upcoming Programs:

Swarthmore College presents concurring exhibitions at the Free Library of Philadelphia, on view through August 2, and Twelve Gates Arts through August 15. Swarthmore College hosted the project’s first exhibition and launched its series of events in March 2019.