The Things They Carry: Photography and Post-migration Trauma

Discussion - 

For many of us, it is impossible to imagine the extreme and stressful events that migrants, refugees and immigrants have experienced. Omar Imam and Thana Faroq, who both have encountered these experiences, have found practices of healing through their artistic crafts. They both use photography and visual media to redefine the topic of migration by challenging its visual stereotypes. In this way, their work contributes to the creation of alternative narratives on the experiences of migrants, immigrants and refugees.

Omar en Thana will take part in an intimate discussion with the audience. This discussion will be about the role that art and photography play as a form of healing, especially when people are dealing with traumas of migration.

Entrance is free, a reservation is mandatory due to limited tickets available!

About the speakers

  • Omar Imam is a photographer and video/installation artist. His photographic works are both mundane documents and sketches of fantastical dreams. Using irony and a conceptual approach, Imam responds to the violent situation in Syria. After leaving Damascus in late 2012, Imam began making fictional short films, while often publishing his work under a pseudonym. Imam’s work is published in Aperture, the Huffington Post, Il Manifesto, the New York Times and Zeit Online. Imam’s Live, Love, Refugee project has been exhibited in 14 countries worldwide. In 2017, he received the Tim Hetherington Visionary Award for his latest project, Syrialism. He  is currently in residence at the Rijksacademie.
  • Thana Faroq is a documentary photographer and storyteller. In 2016, she was awarded a Break the Silence scholarship to pursue her MA in documentary photography and photojournalism at the University of Westminster in London. Her work consists of personal reportage addressing themes of memory, boundaries, and violence. She focuses on collaborative storytelling projects that tell personal anecdotes of displacement and migration. Previously, Thana worked with various international NGOs in Yemen, on stories about displaced women and children. Her work has been featured by several media outlets, including Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, Huffington Post and World Press Photo’s Witness.
  • Bertan Selim is an editor, curator and consultant in the arts, specialized in international grant making, storytelling and image-based practice. His work is centered on educational/mentorship-based programs related to (documentary) photography ranging from the Middle East and North Africa to Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe for which he regularly publishes in diverse international (online) publications. Bertan currently works as the Head of Grants and Collaborations at the Prince Claus Fund in Amsterdam. He will moderate this event
  • Veronika Châtelain, the outreach and public programs coordinator of Open Society Foundations Culture and Art, will give the opening speech.

This event is organized by Open Society Foundations and The Prince Claus Fund. Omar and Thana are both Moving Walls Fellows and Arab Documentary Photography Program alumni. Moving Walls is an annual thematic exhibition series that explores a variety of social justice and human rights issues through documentary practice, and is produced by Culture and Art. The Prince Clauss Foundation, together with Magnum Foundation and the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), established the to stimulate compelling work by Arab photographers working across a range of experimental styles of storytelling

Photo: Thana Faroq