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Photography exhibition “Postcards from Katsikas – Wish we were not here”
Ali, Hanan, Ahmad, Tony, Musab, Kawa, Mohamed Ali, Mahmud and Ahmed are among the thousands of people stranded in Greece. They have been here for more than 8 months, following the EU Turkey deal, waiting for the chance to start a new life in Europe.
They live in the refugee camp of Katsikas where they participated in a photography workshop and from where they are sending us their postcards revealing the daily life in the camp.
These postcards, whether they are moving, uplifting, emotional, bleak or even comical in nature, become a way to play down the dramatic vision of exile. They present us with an intended dose of sarcasm and they depict the weight of their migrant journey in a friendlier context, normally reserved for joyous holidays. This double narrative allows migrants and refugees, even if just temporarily, to unburden their spirits and to unveil their experience to the world.
The “Wish I was not here” postcards, recreate a visual memory of what the participants consider to be the journey of their lives. In a sensitive socio-political context regarding migratory questions, these postcards, like any epistolary correspondence and enable people to undertake the first step towards the “Other”.
The concept of this participatory photography project started in November 2015 by Jungleye* association, headed by photographer Severine Sajous and architecte Julie Brun, at the refugee and migrant camp in Calais, France, widely known as the “Jungle”. In June 2016, Jungleye “migrated” from Calais to Katsikas refugee camp in Ioannina, Greece, where they continued to work with migrants, with the support of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)**.
The exhibition “Postcards from Katsikas – Wish we were not here” organized by Photometria Festival and Jungleye association with the support of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and Photo Europe Days of Photo Europe Network (PHEN).
* Jungleye association intends to give a voice to migrants by documenting their everyday reality and sharing their emotions through photography. Because a picture means much more than words, several migrants, with cameras in their hands, day by day, are sharing their fears, their happiness, their sadness, their anger and their hopes. These Postcards are meant to raise awareness in the international community about migration issues.
** Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. MSF was founded in 1971 and has grown to become a worldwide organisation with medical activities in nearly 70 countries.