Traces of Exile at C/O Berlin

My Traces of Exile video installation will be on exhibition at the C/O Berlin Foundation in Germany as part of the group exhibition SEND ME AN IMAGE – From Postcards to Social Media.

The show is scheduled for 27 March to 2 September, 2021, but it could be modified depending on restrictions surrounding the pandemic.

C/O Berlin Foundation
Amerika Haus
Hardenbergstraße 22–24
10623 Berlin
Germany
Tel. +49 30 2844416 62
info@co-berlin.org

About Traces of Exile:

For the first time in its history, Europe experienced a refugee crisis where most of the individuals involved were connected to the internet. In 2015, over 1.3 million people fled to Europe from crises in the Middle East and North Africa. They carried smartphones to help them navigate through unknown territory and to communicate with loved ones left behind.

Some of them chose to document moments of their lives in exile and to publicly post their images on social media. Often, they geo-tagged their posts to the specific locations where they passed, leaving behind a digital trail of memories.

When I first viewed these posts, I immediately noticed a gap between how migrants portray themselves and how they are portrayed in the media. Western narratives about the newcomers is fraught with politics, and news organisations tend to visually categorise migrants either as victims or threats. In contrast, the images the exiles post of themselves tend to be intimate, playful, and occasionally even flirtatious. According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of those who arrived in Europe in 2015 are men between the ages of 18 and 34. They express themselves with the same visual codes as other millennials. Though divided by borders and conflict, they are united with their generation across the globe by the unique photographic aesthetic of this historical moment.

In 2016, inspired by an Augmented Reality app that can see Instagram posts linked to a specific place, I followed this trail of digital traces through Europe, capturing landscapes of exile overlaid with the Instagram photos the refugees posted in the same place. The result is a series of snapshots of the refugee crisis in Europe, capturing the intersections of reality and online identities.

More info.