RITC Feature on Sky Arts

Reds in the Community featured on the finale of Sky Arts’ Master of Photography last night.

The programme pits 10 photographers against each other in a series of tasks capturing various scenes across Europe.

In the final episode of the series, the three remaining photographers were tasked with capturing the humanitarian side of the European refugee crisis.

Having taken pictures in locations such as Naples, Rome and Munich, photographer Wayne Crichlow travelled to Barnsley for his final contribution of the series.

Wayne visited Reds in the Community in March when our education first team played in a friendly with refugee side African Tigers at Oakwell.

He was tasked with telling the story of Jaber Abdullah, the Sudanese-born man who created the refugee and asylum seeker side from scratch.

Wayne gave an insight into how he approached the task of displaying Jaber’s inspiring story.

He said: “The format of Masters of Photography is all around setting certain tasks each week. The last task for episode eight was around how refugees are living in their new environment. All of these people are coming for various different reasons; economic, fear of their life, political. Jaber’s story was interesting. When I sat and spoke with him, I really understood where he fitted into the community and how he used football to bring people together.

“How can you not be moved and inspired by what has driven them? Jaber travelled from Sudan all the way through Russia. It took him months to get here and was eventually on the back of a lorry. It’s difficult to understand the amount of pressure you must be under to have to risk your life to do that. That made the whole story real. It brought me a bit closer to understanding what it would be like to be a refugee.”

Having started his team with just a handful of friends, Jaber’s African Tigers now run two 11-a-side teams.

The players at the Tigers come from a variety of countries, speaking a number of languages and practicing different religions.

Wayne hailed the power that football has in bringing different communities together.

“Football is a common language. It’s a language that needs no translation and it brings everyone together. He had people from all over Africa in that team who were not necessarily the same religion or spoke the same language. His purpose to get that team playing teams in the community is very admirable. What I could see is that there was a sense of community in Barnsley. I didn’t feel there was any animosity towards them.”

Social Inclusion Officer Hannah Philips has supported Jaber as he looks to grow the Tigers and help integrate refugees into the local community.

Alongside providing kit, facilities and coaching, Hannah has previously organised a trip for Jaber’s team during Amnesty International Week 2018, including tickets to see Barnsley FC take on Leeds United at Elland Road.

Hannah heaped praise on Jaber for his continued monumental efforts and was delighted to see the Tigers’ founder gain further recognition through Sky Arts and Wayne.

She said: “Jaber has been through a huge journey having come all the way to Sudan from England. To then put so much effort into forming and growing the African Tigers is admirable. More than just a team, he has turned the Tigers into a family for refugees and asylum seekers who are trying to adapt to a completely different country and culture.  I’m delighted that his efforts have been shown to the nation through Sky Arts and Wayne did a fine job in telling Jaber’s story. It has been a privilege for Reds in the Community to help refugees integrate into the Barnsley community alongside him.”

If you’re interested in seeing some of Wayne’s work, click HERE to check out his website.