The exhibition Refugees. present/absent is an attempt to expose and highlight the demonization mechanism in representing the ‘refugeee criss’ which dehumanise their experience and ignite the fear against ‘the other’.
The photographs of Mikołaj Długosz and Kuba Czerwiński , taken on the Balkan Trail, do not exoticise or scandalise the experiences of the refugeees. Their photographs shy away from the ‘refugee spectacle’ designed for the European gaze. Refugees’ eyes are turned away from the camera lens; there are no photos of child refugees , the authors do not go out of their way to highlight the ‘difference’ of the exiles from Africa or the Middle East. They turn to, often inconspicuous, places and spaces where the tragedy of the refugees takes its course.
They look into the backyards of the Albanian Preševo in Serbia, into the petrol stations and outskirts of the town of Idomeni in Greece, on the Macedonian-Greek border. They are interested in traces of refugees’ everyday life en route: remains, rubbish, abandoned blankets and wet clothes – these and other proofs of refugees’ material presence on the European soil. It is refugees’ daily reality, which we have strived so hard to ignore, that is operating in these remains. It is in these traces that ther experiences restore its voice and force us to pay attention.
The exhibition is accompanied by different ‘traces’ in the form of memories of the volunteers working on the Balkan Trail. These memories of shared time with the refugees – a cigarette stub, an under-sweetened coffee, a bag carried for someone for a moment bring out the fabric of the daily reality of refugees’ flight. As such, they complicate and undermine the narrative of the flood of the aliens and the stigmatization mechanisms.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2016, 6:00 PM – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2016Księgarnia / Wystawa