As my project on hate crimes in Europe is expanding in Europe, I am pleased to say that the Cultural Centre Asteria in Milan is hosting an exhibition of this photography project. Alongside the exhibit there will be a Talk event organised by the human rights association Per i Diritti Umani (for the human rights) on ‘Hate Speech and Hate Crimes’. The Speakers are the Spokesman for Amnesty International Italy and myself.
Piazzale Francesco Carrara, 17
Opening of the Exhibition and Talk Event on the 12th May 7pm.
The exhibition continues from the 12th May to the 19th May.
I am very pleased to present in collaboration with Amnesty International Greece a solo exhibition in Athens. During the opening on the 21st March there will be a panel discussion on the issue of hate crimes with Amnesty, UNHCR and myself. ‘Hate Hurts’ is a photography projects that captures the rising racism in Europe through the stories of pepole that have fallen victim to hate crimes. It captures a dark history, which has imposed substantial physical and mental hardship on vulnerable victims. This is an ongoing project which will focus in different countries in Europe.
On the 18th January I took part of the first PhotoScratch event at the Hotel Elephant in London. The idea of the event was to exhibit work in progress and ask for feedback on its progression from members of the public. Those that came to the show were given feedback forms. It was a lovely and very interesting evening. I received amazing and thoughtful feedback. Thank you!
Photomonth photo-open exhibition opened last Thursday the 5th November at the Rich Mix. I am very pleased to say that three of my photographs from ‘Hate Crimes; Another Europe’ are exhibiting alongside an interesting selection of photographs’Telling Stories’ from around the world. This is the first time that I am exhibiting ‘Hate Crimes; Another Europe’ project and the response has been awesome.
The show will continue to the 28th November, daily from 10 am to 10 pm at the Rich Mix gallery. I hope many of you will be able to see it.
Rich Mix, 34-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA
An Other Europe is a collection of photo stories that expose the increasing number of hate crimes.
This summer, I was invistigating the increasing number of hate crimes among the refugee communities in Greece. This experience has touched me deeply and has led me to began a long term project based on a series of photo documentaries that is capturing the lives of those that have sought refuge in Europe and have become victims of hate crimes.
I am very pleased that my initiative is supported by Per i Diritti Umani, an Italian organization working for human rights advocacy, http://www.peridirittiumani.com/ which will be publishing and hosting a regular newsletter about this ongoing photo project on their pages.
Pleased that a selection of photographs from ‘The Other Half’ series is part of PhotoMonth this October 2015. The photographs will be showing at the Old Truman Brewery in London part of PhotoMasters – PhotoBlock 2015.
Three photographs from my Transitional project is showing at the Photo Fringe 2014 / Collectives’ Hub. Our exhibition is called Where We Stand / v.2. We are a group of colleagues who recently graduated from LCC’s MA in Photojournalism and Documentary photography. The photographs that I choose to exhibit belong to my series on people living in temporary accommodations: B&B, hostels and emergency shelters.
Photograph at 7th Floor, Vantage Point, New England Road, Brighton, BN1 4GW. Where We Stand / v.2 has the work by Monica Alcazar Duarte, Jamie Clark, HannaKatrina Jedrosz, Jenny B Mulder, Phil Le Gal, Rob Stothard, Ross Paxton, Omur Black.
Some of you may have followed the story of a Boston homeless man. Glen James that finds a backpack with money and travellers cheques worth nearly $42,000 and hands it over to the policehttp://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-boston-homeless-man-reward-20130919,0,4947392.story. The gesture prompted the police of Boston to honour the man and to hail his honesty. This remarkable event made a great impression on a marketing accounts manager, Ethan Whittington of Virginia. He wanted to do something for Glen James and set up a campaign to raise fundings for him http://www.gofundme.com/4by2as. The campaign has had a widespread support. The story is remarkable. But what I find even more remarkable and touching are these words which Glen James has written on the go fund pages.:
“On a serious note; I don’t think there is a real cure for the multiple of homeless people, because their problems go far beyond a simple lack of housing, but the problems of the homeless could be managed far better.
There really isn’t much difference between homeless and non-homeless people as we would like to think, but you would only find that out if you couldn’t make next months rent and truly have no where to go, but the streets… ”
In my view these two phrases touch various and important aspects on the issue of homelessness. On one level the argument is directed to policy makers and so there is the suggestions that the issue needs to be tackle in a better way. I am not a policy maker and I don’t have at hand all the knowledge and the complexity of this issue, but as a photographer working on a project on people living in transitional state and marginal living as homeless, I have learned that there is definitely a need to reach out to those in housing difficulty in a more tangible way. The other level that Glen is mentioning is directed to us. There is a need to look at our stereotyped ideas that we have on homeless people. And it goes even deeper, because today the gap between homeless and non homeless are not great. These words remind us that first and foremost a homeless person is just as everyone else.
Amina, her husband and three children live in an overcrowded flat. The age gap of their children is making things even more difficult as their son, 15 is not able to share a room with his two girl sisters of 6 and 8. The parents are for a very long time having to share with their children, the mother with the daughters and the father with the son. The flat has severe mould which has worsened the asthma conditions of the mother and one of the daughters. To worsen the situation is Amina’s husband clinical depression caused by a sudden joblessness and the housing conditions have made things a lot more difficult to handle for him and the entire family. At the moment, his frequent stays at the hospital have become more permanent stays. Amina and her family have been fighting for years to be moved in a larger home. She is certain that her husband conditions would improve.
“We have nobody to speak to. My husband is depressed. His psychologist has not done anything to help, for instance he has not even written to the council. We went to see the MP. We told him everything, but nothing has been done, not even changing the bid band (housing priority list according to housing status). My husband lost work, and this situation is not helping. It is not the reason for having lost the job but the situation at home is making things worse. Nothing has being done around this problem and the situation has worsened his condition. Now he is clinically depressed and in and out of hospital.The problem has become deeper from losing the work with the housing as it is. We wanted to move and we worked hard for it. We went to see the MP and when my husband did not find any help then he lost hope and everything and his health became worse. It is very difficult. One day he woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet and he fainted and nobody knew because I wasn’t with him. If we would be able to sleep in the same room I would known when he is away from the bed. When my husband woke up and found himself on the floor of the bathroom, he did not know when and what happened to me and how long he had been there. He hurt his tongue, but it could have been a lot worse. In the morning he told me. If he dies no one will know.” Amina, June 2013
The simplicity and yet the poignancy of the words written by John Berger’s (John Berger, LS Lowry 1966) to accompany the Lowry’s exhibition at the Tate Britain (http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/lowry-and-painting-modern-life), resonate with great effect, nevertheless because of its depth of description and prediction of today’s times. It touches a striking note of empathy; words describing what Lowry was touching with his paintings, i.e. a British economy in its turmoils, of a profound economy crisis that needed intervention. Then and now. I share the thoughts cited by Berger on the consequences if a shifting power from industrial capitalism to international finance capital was not averted. It was not averted then and the process as we are witnessing it is still undergoing with no less implications. I was at loss with a deep recognition in what I saw in Lowry’s paintings and what I am experiencing in my work today by getting to know the depth of poverty and isolation that many people are facing. The industrial scenes of our cities have gone, but desolation is present albeit less openly. With my ongoing project ‘Transitional’ I have found that ill health, poverty, homelessness is enveloping our cities and these human layers are hidden within the skeleton of our cities.