Lingering Ghosts - PhMuseum

Lingering Ghosts

Sam Ivin

2013 - 2016

What does it mean to be an asylum seeker in the UK? This was the starting point of Ivin’s research, which began at a drop in centre in Cardiff,  Wales and continued all over England. It seeks to raise questions about how the UK’s migration system treats those seeking safety.

Once in the UK, these people find themselves in a state of limbo, having to await an answer application for refugee status for months or even years. They become Lingering Ghosts. These physically scratched portraits attempt to convey the cruel loss of self, and frustration that befalls them.

Ivin’s work offers a contemplative take, away from the glaring lights of the media. His modified portraits simply and powerfully give a view on an issue that is often underreported: the plight of those that waiting for asylum.

Despite being represented without their eyes, these people do have an identity and we recognise them as fathers, mothers, sons and daughters – human beings, after all.

Produced in collaboration with Italian communication research centre, Fabrica. 

Finalist of Photograph Museum of Humanity Next Generation Grant 2015

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  • Sudan

    1 year waiting.

  • Iran

    5 years waiting.

  • Pakistan

    8 months waiting.

  • Democratic Republic of Congo

    15 years waiting.

  • Palestine

    5 months waiting.

  • Eritrea

    7 years waiting.

  • Azerbaijan

    13 years waiting.

  • Syria

    1.5 years waiting.

  • Zimbabwe

    21 years waiting.

  • Kashmir

    3 years waiting.

  • Lebanon

    1.5 years waiting.

  • Nigeria

    10 years waiting.


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