Documentary photography and writing
Suspended lives – glances into the everyday life of a reception centre
Suspended lives emerged from the willingness to challenge the dominant narrative about ‘refugees crisis’ wide-spread among Italian media. Since 2012, these have been obsessively focussed either on migrants’ and refugees’ sea arrivals or on the public funds’ mismanagement of reception centres. However, few developed an in-depth exploration of the lives of ‘asylum seekers’ in the aftermath of sea crossing. Due to the length of bureaucratic procedures, thousands of people found themselves trapped in an in-between, a “time under siege” in which they were neither able to move on from their past nor to enter their future.
If their experience of time oscillates between past and future, through this project I delved into the present everyday life of unaccompanied minors living in a reception centre located in a small village of about 500 people near Palermo (Sicily).
The project tries to overcome a representation of “asylum seekers” as either threats or victims and picture them in their complexity of humans as well as to grasp the materiality of this ‘time under siege’. Acknowledging that their subjective perspective is often missing from dominant narratives, Suspended lives evolves on a double narrative structure, where my own black and white pictures dialogue with the colour one taken by minors themselves with disposable cameras. These were taken as part of a participatory photography project, which lasted three months and resulted in a final exhibition organised in the village council library.