A new magazine by refugees and volunteers
With a just a laptop, printer and boundless energy and hard work, these three humble guys are bringing hundreds of refugees together, and giving them a voice.
Martin (left) Souran (centre) and Jean Marc have begun putting out a magazine to enable refugees to share their stories and feelings with each other. Its name is Exodus. And everyone who has seen it so far thinks it’s amazing.
Exodus began when Jean Marc, a poet, ex-music manager and original punk, noticed that the refugees in the hotel he supported in Maidenhead often felt isolated, and had little to do.
He found Souran, one of the refugees and an accomplished documentary maker at home in Iran, agreed. Martin, another volunteer and former editor of the local paper, got involved, and they started looking for ways for people to share stories.
How, though? The obvious answer was a website, but many refugees wouldnt have been able to read it, because don’t have phones or money for data.
Suddenly Jean Marc had an idea. He remember in the old punk days, before anyone had phones or the internet, people used to make their own magazines, or fanzines. They’d print them on photocopiers and hand them out, and it just… worked.
He realised the same thing would work now.
And so this unlikely trio of punk poet, Home Counties newspaper editor and Iranian film maker got to work.
They talked to local volunteers. They invited refugees to write. They compiled information. They edited and laid out the pages, and Jean Marc persuaded the designer for the band The Levellers to design the cover (the punk lettering is a tribute to the origins).
The result is fantastic.
This first issue is rooted in the Berkshire area where Jean Marc and Martin volunteer, and Souran is in the hotel they support. But they aim to cover the whole country. Anyone who wants to write their story or get a copy should email [email protected]