This exhibition of portraits and stories is an intercultural event that brought together people from diverse communities in the north inner city to share their expressions and experiences.

The artist, Nassouh Hossari, arrived in Ireland himself six years ago from Syria and has only taken up painting relatively recently. The subjects of his portraits are members of the Intercultural Language Service (ILS) which is based in the Ballybough Community Centre, and they represent the diversity of people involved in this community-based project. ILS has been offering language and integration training for the last six years to people who struggle to access mainstream services.

The ethos of ILS is a two-way model of integration, and this exhibition follows its vision of seeing diversity as a golden opportunity rather than a challenge for the local community. The portraits are accompanied by poems and short biographies of the subjects and we feel that Nassouh has managed to capture both the spirits of the individual subjects and of our collective community at ILS.