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Fish & chips features in National Refugee Week art exhibition

Fish and chips is at the centre of an art exhibition in Kent to mark National Refugee Week.

The new commission by artist Olivier Kugler and writer Andrew Humphreys opened yesterday at Turner Contemporary in Margate and shares everyday stories of migration connected to the area's most celebrated high street food.

For the project, Kugler and Humphreys interviewed owners, staff and customers at five fish and chips shops across Kent and created artworks sharing their anecdotes.

Jack Kameno, owner of Reliance Fish Restaurant in Gravesend, is one of those featured. His dad's family came from Cyprus in 1947 and opened their first shop in London.

He comments: "Fish and chips is in our family and I love doing what we do. I love meeting new people and every day is a different. I think this art project was a very good idea. I love the picture that they’ve done of me, my shop and my customers. It’s good for people to see local history and how immigration is linked to the fish and chip shops."

Featured fish and chip shop owners are:

  • Beach Buoys, Margate: Nadine and Simon Morriss

  • Best Fish & Chips, Tankerton, Whitstable: Elvan Bodur

  • Ossie’s Fish & Chips, Canterbury: Ramazan Altun

  • Reliance Fish Restaurant, Gravesend: Jack Kamenou

  • Walmer Fish & Chips: Giancarlo and Carolina

Fish and chips can be traced back to Huguenot and Jewish arrivals in the UK and people from all over the world continue to be central to the farming and fishing industries and the high street shops.

Entry to the exhibition, which opened yesterday and runs until 20th June, is free.

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