Throughout the course of time, rulers and politicians have imposed borders in order to control people's freedom of movement. These physical and ideological dividers delineate citizens by geography, nationality, faith, tribe or skin colour. Too often, disputes over these differences result in persecution, imprisonment, torture, mass killings, and forced migration.
This exhibition presents a collection of work that explores the impact on the lives of those who have been inexorably caught up in the battle for the control of borders and people. Some of the work captures the lowest points of loss and despair. There are also the uplifting stories of how both the fluidity and resilience of their identity enables some to rebuild their lives.
The collection includes contributions from those involved in the Refugee Journalism Project - an initiative that aims to help exiled and displaced journalists reestablish their careers in the UK. The exhibition is accompanied by the Beyond Borders: Panel Discussion which tackles key issues around migration and journalism.
The Refugee Journalism Project is a collaboration between London College of Communication and the Migrants Resource Centre. It has worked with participants from many countries including Syria, Sudan, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Cuba, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Yemen. Collectively, they have an impressive array of experience in the media industry – broadcasting, print, and photography. Yet, despite being qualified and experienced professionals, most have been unable to gain paid or unpaid work within the British media.
The motivation for the project is based on concerns about levels of anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain and the role of some sectors in the media in driving negative coverage of this controversial topic. By enabling the inclusion of more refugee voices in the journalism sector, the project attempts to challenge this.
Artists contributing to Beyond Borders: Exhibition include:
Antonio Zazueta Olmos, born in Mexico, is a photojournalist covering issues concerning human rights, the environment and conflict. He has worked in the Americas, Middle East and Africa for newspapers and magazines around the world, as well as leading NGOs. After studying photojournalism at CSU, he began his career as a staff photographer at the Miami Herald in 1988, before moving to Mexico City in 1991 to become a freelance photographer covering news stories for the Black Star Photo Agency. Since 1994 he has been based in London and is represented by the Eyevine Photo Agency. Antonio received the People in the News World Press Award in 2001 for his work in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. In 2013, his first book The Landscape of Murder was published and documents every murder site in London in 2011 and 2012.
Etienne Bruce graduated with a MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography from LCC in 2016. During her studies, she made work in Calais that combines image and text to create a counter-discourse to mainstream media representations of the camp. Building on this, Etienne went to Greece in summer 2016 where she made Xenitia, focusing on displacement within the Greek context, interweaving narratives of arrivals and departures across time, with textual contributions from refugees in Greece today. This work was featured by the BBC, Something Curated and Feature Shoot. The book, Xenitia, that resulted from this work, was awarded Best Book Prize by Trolley Books.
Elena Kollatou and Leonidas Toumpanos are documentary photographers living and working in London. Elena is a BA (Hons) Photography and Film graduate from Edinburgh Napier University, and Leonidas, a MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography graduate from LCC. They work collaboratively on long-term environmental and social projects, participating in exhibitions and publishing their work across international magazines and websites.