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MIGRANTS: Residents and Volunteers at Ritsona Camp. Photography Exhibition…

by Zia Fernandez Ibarreche ​

Saturday: 26/11/2016 to 30/11/2016
Times: Saturday 5pm-10pm, other days: 12pm-6pm
Place: Hive Gallery, Dalston. London
Address: HIVE 260-264 Kingsland road. E8 4DG Hackney. Closest tube station Haggerston


My intention with the project ‘MIGRANTS: Residents and volunteers at Ritsona Camp’ is not to have a voice as a curator but to let other voices to be heard.

Back in June I curated the photography exhibition ‘MIGRANTS: What does migration mean to you?’. The exhibition was an opportunity for photographers, students and the general public to showcase their work during the Refugee & EU Referendum week. With the intention of giving voice to all points of view on migration in society both within the UK and Internationally, participants were invited to consider the question: What does migration mean to you?

The work on show in the exhibition was very diverse, but after reflecting on the it I realised that I missed submissions from those individuals that are not allowed to be members of society, the members of the refugee community. This made me think that I needed to reach for their voices. I wanted to hear as many voices as possible.

I decided to go to the Ritsona camp and volunteer for the NGO I AM YOU (teaching the children at the camp arts and crafts workshops) and put together a photography and storytelling workshop for the people in the camp. I wanted them to participate and tell their own stories.

In the camp children had the school and many activities, but adults did not have that many. They were in the camp not doing much, they were isolated living in a forest during the hot days of summer. This project gave them a sense of purpose and the most important their voices can be heard.


This participatory project is complemented by a small selection of photographs taken by photographers that have been documenting the migrants crisis for many years; Julio Etchart, Emily Garthwaite, Alan Schaller, David Bate & Heather McDonough,

The event is on Saturday, 26th of November at 5.00 pm.

Please find the event’s schedule shown below:

5.30 pm. Introduction and talk by Zia Fernandez Ibarreche

​5.45 pm by Emily Garthwaite and Alan Schaller

“Photojournalists Alan Schaller and Emily Garthwaite will share their experiences from the Calais jungle. They have produced three articles for the Independent over the past year about the camp. Topics they will talk about range from issues pertaining to the mental health of jungle residents, the state of Dunkirk, the importance of media sensitivity, the Iranian hunger strikers, the destruction of the camp and most recently the children who slept rough due to the organisation blunder by authorities.

​6.00 pm talk by Heather McDonough

Heather found that volunteering in the French refugee camps led to a steady stream of encounters – with residents whose fragile lives have unravelled, fragmented and reconstituted in a remote and strange place – and with objects, whether waiting for their purpose to be fulfilled or lying spent and discarded, or else in limbo, useless and abandoned.

Heather McDonough is a fine art photographer with a background in print and design. Aside from her own work, which is often sequence-based, she edits photos for a variety of clients including artists’ monographs published by Chris Boot, Prestel and PhotoWorks.

6.15 pm talk by William Sanjay

I have seen very poor living conditions in China or South East Asia, but when I arrived in Greece, I was shocked to discover how secluded the life was in the camps and how lost and abandoned the people were feeling.
Through my pictures I want to contribute to raising awareness about the living conditions in refugee camps within the borders of Europe and more importantly show how the children are growing up and missing the basic education.
Children are the future of our world, and if we don’t educate them, who knows what the consequences will be. Education is a fundamental right for everybody regardless of who you are and where you are.

6.30 pm talk by Julio Etchart

As an exile, who came to this country fleeing political persecution from a fascist dictatorship I have always felt empathy towards refugees and migrant people.
As a visual journalist, I made one of my pledges to report the plight of those that are forced to leave their countries for political, social and economic reasons, and I have been covering such issues for decades.
I will be showing a small selection of images of refugees and migrants I shot earlier this year on the Turkish coast and on the island of Lesbos, trailing the route that thousands of asylum seekers have followed trying to start a new life in Europe

From 6.45 pm to 9.30 Music and Drinks!

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