“Exploring our cities”
IOM launches a collective photo exhibition
The international Organization for Migration (IOM) launches the collective photo exhibition “Exploring our cities”, with works of 38 amateur photographers, both local Greeks and refugees who found a new home in Greece.
In the framework of the HELIOS Project [Hellenic Integration Support for Beneficiaries of International Protection], and in collaboration with seven (7) municipalities across Greece and the Cities Network for Integration, IOM sets a photographic journey in the cities of Athens, Heraklion, Ioannina, Katerini, Livadeia, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.
“Interacting with people of different cultural background, with whom I happen to share my city, gave me the opportunity to discover aspects unknown to me and see my own city with a fresh look”, said Artemis Skyfa from Athens.
“I greatly enjoyed participating in this activity because this is a new universe for me”, admitted Daniel Mbuyi from Thessaloniki.
Through the lens of the amateur artists, the exhibition aims at participating in the dialogue regarding the perceptions of cities’ identities and at highlighting aspects of peaceful coexistence between refugees, migrants, and host communities.
“Exploring our cities is an initiative of sharing through different perspectives and unique photos, the cities we live in, our experiences, ultimately generating a productive dialogue between citizens all over Greece, regardless of their nationality”, said Gianluca Rocco, Chief of Mission in IOM Greece .
“Without the support of local communities, no integration can be achieved, and this photo exhibition shows good examples of coexistence and collaboration”, he added.
The preparation of the exhibition begun during the summer of 2020, when mixed groups of amateur photographers – Greeks, refugees, and migrants – come together for the first time in order to discuss and exchange views on the very identity of the cities they live together. With the support of the HELIOS Project and the local communities, the photographers launched their artistic journey within the neighborhoods they live in to depict whatever fascinates, thrills, or even unites them.
IOM, in full respect of the national guidelines for COVID – 19 , has created the dedicated website: exploringourcities.com, through which the wider public can enjoy the creations and be informed about the exhibition and its participants.
This collective exhibition is part of the broader framework of integration and awareness-raising activities implemented by IOM, in close cooperation with Municipalities and Civil Society Organizations, showcasing and promoting good practices of migrant integration at the local level. The exhibition is supported by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and funded by the European Commission (DG HOME).
Cities’ Network for Integration | Hellenic Photographic Society of Crete | Grigoris Xanthos | Levadia Photography Club | Photographic Society of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Irida Photographic Group | Luminous Eye | Photometria International Photography Festival
City of Athens and Migrant Integration Center of the City of Athens | Municipality of Heraklion | Municipality of Thessaloniki | Municipality of Ioannina | Municipality of Katerini | Municipality of Levadia | Municipality of Piraeus – Council of Migrants’ and Refugees’ Integration | MOMus – Thessaloniki Museum of Photography | Ministry of Migration and Asylum
More information: HELIOS Project