Foam x KLABU:
Strength Away From Home

Foam and KLABU proudly present the exhibition Strength Away From Home in a new edition of Galerie Mercatorplein in Amsterdam West. The exhibition reflects on the courage and resilience of the millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to leave their familiar surroundings and build a new life far from home. The groundbreaking portraits are created by photographer Coco Olakunle to change the narrative surrounding refugees and to amplify their personal voices. She captured the KLABU community in refugee camps such as Kalobeyei (Kenya) and Lesbos (Greece) through close collaboration, giving refugees control over how they are portrayed.

Unity Day for World Refugee Week 2024

Join us on Saturday 22 June from 12.00 - 17.00 hrs for a festive afternoon on Mercatorplein, filled with photography workshops and sports activities with professional athletes such as Soraya Verhoeve (Ajax) and Muna Dahouk (Olympic Refugee Team). Refugees, other newcomers and local Amsterdammers are warmly invited while enjoying food, drinks, activities and music. Entrance is free and no registration is needed.

Photography workshops by Coco Olakunle

On 22 June, you can also attend a photography workshop at the OBA on Mercatorplein. Coco Olakunle will take participants through her process, in which making real contact and capturing connections are central. Afterwards, participants will have a chance to exhibit their work at the OBA on Mercatorplein. The workshop lasts 1.5 hours and there will be two sessions, at 13.30 and 15.30 hrs. Each group consists of 20 people and no registration is needed.

Full programme

12.00 - 17.00 hrs
Apenkooi / Dubball / Exhibition / Music / Snacks from Hummus and Habibis / Drinks

13.00 - 14.00 hrs
Football with Soraya Verhoeve (Ajax)

13.30 - 14.45 hrs
Photography workshop by Coco Olakunle

14.00 - 15.00 hrs
Apenkooi with Muna Dahouk (Olympic Refugee Team)

14:15, 15.00 & 15.45 hrs
3x Boogieland boxing workshop

15.30 - 16.45 hrs
Photography workshop by Coco Olakunle

Aisha from Somalia photograph taken in Kenya 2019 © Coco Olakunle / KLABU

About KLABU and Coco Olakunle

In a world more fragmented than ever before, notions of place and belonging have gained unprecedented relevance. KLABU is an Amsterdam-based nonprofit organisation that supports and encourages refugees worldwide through sports, with a mission to become a sports club that can change the world. KLABU believes that sport creates perspective and offers refugees dignity, hope, pride and self-confidence, bridging differences and creating connections.

Coco Olakunle is a self-taught image-maker who explores social issues and examines their role in photography. She has been closely involved with KLABU since 2019.

more information
Rustem from Afghanistan photograph taken in Greece 2024 © Coco Olakunle / KLABU

Galerie Mercatorplein is made possible by Gemeente Amsterdam, Stadsdeel West.

Special thanks to KLABU who granted the image rights for this exhibition.

Two women smiling

explore connections

Foam x KLABU:
Strength Away From Home