• Dates
    2008 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Topics Contemporary Issues, Fine Art, Documentary
  • Locations Morocco, Spain, Tunisia, Germany, Romania, Greece, Turkey

In Migration as Avant-Garde, Michael Danner examines the new ways in which migrants are pursuing their hope for a better life. "Avant-garde” stands for progress and the way of a pioneer. The origin of his work was the reading of a 1943 text by the philosopher Hannah Arendt.

In Migration as Avant-Garde, I introduce the people that make up migration, as well as those that influence, prevent, channel, or impact a migrant’s humanity. This includes, first and foremost, the emigrants themselves who initially choose to cross a border, as well as the societies that make up their final destination; among them the border police, agents of the state, and mass media.

I intend to accompany my photographs by quotes from the political theorist Hannah Arendt, historical image documents of refugees from public archives, as well as UNO satellite pictures from crisis regions. These depict an even wider spectrum of actors, which are interlaced to create a complete system.

I allow us to observe and interpret what we see in Migration as Avant-Garde. My work creates areas of tension between our fears and hopes, and leads the viewer to questions about history and identity. The work also investigates the function and construction of images that are a part of how we perceive the world. This work is not a final assessment of the topic, but rather creates space for dialogue and should encourage a social debate that goes beyond the actual subject.

The photographs shown here are a brief selection from my work taken in Europe and Northern Africa between 2008 and 2017.

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