Dates2021 - Ongoing
- Locations United Kingdom, Italy
96 DIN is a project around the theme of Migration. Migration is defined as ‘movement from one country, place or locality to another.’ Though people often think of migration as a recent phenomenon, it has been part of our history for over 70,000 years. Ever since the first humans began to emigrate from Africa, we have been on the move. As of 2019, 3.5% of the world’s population – around 272 million people – live outside of their country of origin, an increase of 51 million since 2010 according to the United Nations.
Over the course of the last two decades, immigration has been seen in a negative light due to illegal migration becoming more common. “We’re going to build a big, beautiful wall” have been the key words of US President Donald Trump during his 2016 election campaign. Since he took office in 2017, the daily population of US immigration detention centres has increased by more than 40% - 52,722 people were detained as of September 2019.
The New York Times on August 14 said Greece was "abandoning" migrants at sea for the Turkish coast guard to rescue – based on its research, the Times confirmed at least 1,072 people were left to die at sea since March 2020. They are all viewed as numbers, not individuals.
Influenced heavily by the current events, this body of work explores my father’s immigration story from Pakistan to Italy in 2000. The photographs are a visual document of his story, exploring his journey and the hardships along the way. The work aims to shine a light on immigrants as individuals, that go beyond numbers and statistics. The immigrant without a name or an identity has full control of his story now, he is the narrator.
“I never saw open sea before getting on that boat, I was quite excited actually. Everyone always talked about it back home, some of my friends had been to Karachi but I never had the chance to. I was really excited, I had so many positive stories – they died down really early on though. The sea that I have been through is not one that everyone witnesses, people go to the beach and enjoy the sea on a sunny day. I witnessed the sea under the most unforgiving weather, it was terrifying. You would think that such a big ship wouldn’t get effected by bad weather, but open sea is more powerful than one can imagine. During bad weather the ship would quite literally go in and out of the sea, every time I felt like it was my last. You simply can’t get used to something like that, it’s terrifying.”