Birmingham artist community supports anti-torture charity

Fundraising auction to mark anniversary.

Freedom from Torture, a national charity supporting survivors of torture with a treatment centre in Birmingham, is marking its thirtieth anniversary with a celebratory art auction to raise funds to support its work here in the Midlands.

Birmingham arts community has rallied round Artists Drawing a Line Under Torture with donations from well-known Birmingham artists including Reuben Colley and Caroline Jariwala as well as galleries Castle Fine Arts, the Purple Gallery and Sigmund and Jocelyn Fine Art. Fieldings Auctioneers have also donated their services.

The viewing and auction will take place at The Edgbaston Priory Club on 13th November 2015 from 7pm. There will be a short performance by survivors of torture.

In 2009 Freedom from Torture opened its Birmingham treatment centre in the Jewellery Quarter, in response to the housing of asylum seekers and refugees, who include torture survivors, in the Midlands.

The centre provides psychotherapy services as well as medical, legal and practical support for survivors of torture, who have fled their countries and sought protection in the UK. Traumatised by fear, torture and conflict, separated from family and community, and often living in destitution, Freedom from Torture helps them to overcome these traumatic experiences and work towards building a positive future.

In Birmingham the charity currently helps adults, children and families from dozens of countries, including Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The charity is also expecting its services will be needed as Syrian refugees arrive in the city as the Prime Minister said that he will prioritise torture survivors for resettlement.

Nick Davies, of Fieldings Auctioneers who will be the auctioneer for the event, says: “Torture is a horrific and terrifying practice which no human being should ever have to suffer. Freedom from Torture’s work caring for survivors of torture living in Birmingham is vital in helping them to rehabilitate from the most traumatic experiences imaginable, and reassert their human dignity and worth. That’s why we are delighted to be supporting this exciting art auction to celebrate the charity’s 30th anniversary.”

Artist Caroline Jariwala of Mango Mosaics who is donating works adds: “It is a distressing reality that across the world, many states and state actors use torture to dehumanise, intimidate and repress citizens. The use of torture is all too often an attack on the freedom of expression that artists should be able to enjoy. It is crucial to send out a message that torture is never acceptable, and its use must come to an end. By supporting Freedom from Torture’s work here in the heart of our own city, we are doing this.”

The auction will take place at the Edgbaston Priory Club on 13 November 2015 from 7pm. Tickets are priced at £10 which includes a complimentary drink, canapés and raffle entry.

Further information and tickets available from