Co founder of Sistas Against Cancer, Rose Thompson

The exhibition follows the journeys of local women fighting against the disease.

Located in Hyson Green, the New Art Exchange is renowned for its culturally diverse exhibitions, ranking as one of the UK’s most inclusive galleries. One of their latest exhibitions which began on September 27th is the ultimate ‘stand-up-to-cancer’ showcase; Beyond Diagnosis.

The exhibition reveals the stories of several women from the Black, Asian, Minority, Ethnic and Refugee community (BAMER) who have either suffered from cancer themselves or are searching for some type of support to help their loved ones in their fight against cancer.

Sitting in the stairwell amidst the central gallery, it introduces the group ‘Sistas Against Cancer’ (SAC) which is then followed by a plethora of heartwarming images taken by Nottingham photographer Michael Ellis. The individual images capture the essence of gratefulness and compassion that each woman has received whilst being a member of the group. The curator has purposefully staggered the photographs up the stairwell as if with each step you take, you feel as though you’re travelling alongside them.

One ‘sista’, Sophia Hunter, shared her story of how she participates in the group to receive information and accept a helping hand in assisting her husband through his battle with cancer. Within the exhibition it’s printed that her membership in SAC has given her “courage, strength and insight” and that the group is “hard to describe in a few words”.

It’s evident that ‘Beyond Diagnosis’ is an eye-opener which reinforces a very important message: no matter how painful and heartbreaking it may be, you are surrounded by support from those going through a similar experience. This is essentially what the group is about, bringing minority groups together in times of need.

If you haven’t been already, I would highly recommend going to the New Art Exchange, especially if you’re a part of the ‘BAMER’ community and are looking for help with battling cancer. It is a free exhibition running until the 10th November and is definitely worth the trip. Cancer rarely crosses people’s minds but, during my time there, I felt really engaged in people’s stories and was taken out of the personal bubble that we all live in.

If you would like more information on attending one of the sessions which occur fortnightly, free of charge, you can visit http://selfhelp.org.uk.

Written by Kirsty Massey, Chloe Keys and Molly Cross.