Women of Leeds – Photos by Lizzie Coombes

Tabita in front of Leeds Playhouse


In June 2020, to celebrate Refugee Week, Arts Together commissioned photographer Lizzie Coombes to take photos of members of Mafwa Theatre, a theatre group for refugee and asylum seeker women and women from the local community.

Sumera by the canal near Leeds Train Station

We asked the participants to choose their favourite place in Leeds, and then we met them there and Lizzie took their pictures, in a socially distanced way of course.  We asked them a bit about themselves and why they chose that location, and also why they enjoyed being a member of Mafwa Theatre and being involved in the arts in general.

Tabita being photographed by Lizzie in front of Leeds Playhouse.

We also asked if they would like to send in some pictures of things that meant something to them.  So for instance Tabita sent in pictures of a plant which she had managed to keep alive though lockdown which she was very proud of!  Emma sent some pictures of her cat, Tiny, and Trish of her dogs.  And Anne sent some pictures of flowers she’d taken at Golden Acre Park.

So we were delighted with the final collection – they are beautiful, vibrant and colourful pictures of women in Leeds, in an uncertain time.  Each participant was also given prints of their portraits to keep.

We hope you enjoy the full collection here.

Link to Full Exhibition of photos

Download ‘Women of Leeds’ (37.1MB PDF)