Who really determines the idea we have of refugees? Is it the photographer, the editor of the pictures, or is society imposing the media what images we want or do not want to see?
The Western representation of people on the run is hardly based on our own observations, but rather on the flow of images that we are exposed to through the media. In which measure these images correspond to reality? Who decides what we see?
Marka Valenta’s work takes shape at the intersection of politics, anthropology and history. Its focus is on how the large-scale systems organizing our world – nation-states, racial capitalism and imperial science – entail a complex interdependence of violence and liberation; of often quite brutal state power and human resistance to that brutality; of vicious borders and stubborn human mobility; of dehumanizing exploitation and fierce cultural, aesthetic and intellectual creativity. Her work seeks to make sense of this complex and violent process, while pinpointing where our possibilities lie for creating a global open, pluralist society that guarantees dignity, well-being, equality and justice for all. To imagine such a thing is not foolhardy but necessary.
Noemí is a photographer and editor from Barcelona currently residing in the Netherlands. Naomi started the activist and collective project Now You See Me Moria in 2020, frustrated by the lack of media coverage of the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos and the increasing human rights violations there. Members of the group, in addition to Naomi, Qutaeba from Syria, Ali, Amir and Mostafa from Afghanistan, want to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in the EU, especially in the Moria refugee camp. Naomi is currently attending a Master’s Degree in Photography and Film at the University of Leiden.