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People and Places

Gambia, gondolas, gone... but never forgotten: Khadija Saye

A fire ripped through a tower block in London earlier this year claiming the lives of 'too' many people. It should never have happened but it did. I was overwhelmed by one of the victims, who I am sure would prefer to be remembered for her empowering 'I can do this' mentality.

Khadija Saye was born in London and her work reflected the close ties she had to her Gambian family roots. She certainly embraced her cultural diversity which in essence gave strength and conviction to the pieces she created. Khadija's creativity had been given a helping hand when at the age of 16 she won a full scholarship to the prestigious Rugby School; which then led her to UCA Farnham to take a BA in photography.

Khadija was a talented photographer and it was only this year that her series: Dwelling: in this space we breathe, had been chosen to be shown at the Diaspora Pavilion during the Venice Biennale; the prestigious art exhibition for emerging artists. Khadija was at an interesting point in her career as a photographer/artist and was showing promise of being the 'one to watch'...

No-one could have predicted that fatal day on 14th June 2017 but from this tragic event we must draw inspiration and never lose sight of the necessity to preserve Khadija's work as a legacy and message of hope to the many seeking to chase their dreams.

This interview with the BBC was filmed one month before Khadija died and is the perfect tribute to her life. This beautiful 24 year old woman will forever warm hearts and raise smiles. Her work is captured in time and will be a source of discussion and praise for generations to come.


Nicola Green, Dave Lewis and Ingrid Swenson have set up the Khadija Saye Memorial Fund to support young artists like Saye to help them realise their potential. For more information and to donate, visit

See Guardian

and also bjp-online

Photo credit (homepage) to: Daffyd Jones/PA

Tuesday, 5 December 2017    Section: People and Places
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