Migrating as a choice to seek a better life in another country is an option available to only a fortunate minority. It is not the case of those millions of people who are currently risking their lives to cross borders in search of a better future.
We have known since long time that all forced migrations like Diaspora and the Exodus were based on hatred. Leaving was never the ideal scenario. Most of the time it is not a decision to migrate: there is no other possible way. Migrating is painful in itself but it is less damning when there is still a choice.
What happens then when people leave hostile scenarios to face a hostile future? How do we call that kind of geographic and social movement when faced with no choice? Most of the current waves of migrations present themselves as a black scenario – a bridge that you have to cross, with closed eyes, towards an unknown world where there is at least the possibility of staying alive. Moreover, while they are escaping violence or escaping hunger, the majority of migrants still do not know they will probably reach lands where they will be discriminated and even persecuted.
The works presented in this cycle speak of this type of migration. They speak of the people who are between the sword and the wall; about their limbo. A kind of limbo so well illustrated by these authors through militarised borders, geographical lines, and the description of that transitory state towards a fortuitous future in a state of despair.
Throughout the last decades, social research has altered the way in which we approach this issue. This is mainly generated by the vision and impetus of different social actors, photographers, and visual artists in general have decided to focus on migrants situation with different approaches and determined to deepen the conversation on the subject. Either themselves – the photographers – being migrants; or taking their own critical position on one side of the line; or deepening, with emphasis, on the documentary tradition; or focusing on the subjective tradition; or approaching the different liminal stages by which these individuals pass through their transit with the hope of access to a better life. Some of these authors also embrace new technological tools to evidence the experiences that these people in transit live.
We are confronted with projects that approach the migration issue from different angles and at the same time allow us, directly and indirectly, to approach this as critical actors. As witnesses, these authors raise the veil and make us aware of a direct, profound and yet not less painful way to confront ourselves with something we know since a long time: the need to find new and decent options to address this issue.
Photographer and Curator at PHmuseum
Nicolas is an Argentine photographer, anthropologist & curator. His works is focused on long term personal projects in Latin America. Among other prizes he has been awarded The Repsol Prize in 2014. He gives lectures and workshops in several latin american institutions such as Centro de la Imagen (Peru) FOLA (Latin American Photo Library) and at Buenos Aires National University. His work has been featured in New York Times Lens Blog, TIME Magazine, Der Spiegel & Bloomberg News among others media. His personal work has been exhibited in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, France, Spain, USA, India & China. He joined PHmuseum in 2013.