stories

5 refugees + 5 photographers + 5 looks

The photogallery we bring to you, «5 refugees + 5 photographers + 5 looks)» , was exhibited at the Centro Cultural Borges gallery from September 25th to October 9th 2008. This work has the aim to reflect the daily life of five refugees from Albania, Bangladesh, Colombia, Nigeria and Senegal living in Argentina. Each photographer was assigned with one refugee,  developing different photographic approaches and five different and unique looks. The exhibition emerged as a proposal from United Nations agency for refugees (ACNUR/UNHCR) in charge of the protection of more than 32 million people persecuted and forced to escape from their countries due to social, ethnic, religious, political or sexual reasons. Nowadays, 3500 refugees live in Argentina and requests have grown 40% the last year.

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Alejandra was forced to escape from Colombia when she was starting her university career. As a human right activist she suffered persecution by colombian State and paramilitary groups.

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After many of her comrades were assassinated she decided to move to Argentina looking for a bit of peace. She now lives with her mother, who arrived a few months ago.

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As the days went by, she overcame the original uncertainty, resumed her studies and found a job.

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Alejandra is a thriving young woman, an activist with a lots of ideals.

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Her dreams have travelled with her, from Colombia to Argentina.

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2012, she still lives in Buenos Aires. She now helps peoples who arrive in Argentina through the ACNUR.

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Alketa from Albania. She ran away from a big crisis in the country that put her life on risk. The beginning wasn’t easy: she invested her savings on a little business but it shut down with the economical crisis of december 2001.... (+)

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Ketty, as they called her here, come from Shqiptare, a little village of Albania.

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She chose Argentina because some of her cousins were already living in Buenos Aires.

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Her life here is hard but she receives the support of her family.

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Alketa talks a lot about her country. The nostalgia resounds in her voice.

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Alketa went back to Albania in 2010.

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Davala from Nigeria. A rebel group captured and killed his parents. At 16, he could escape: hidden inside a ship he arrived to Argentina. In his room in San Telmo he prepares hip-hop rimes and creates records hoping that someday he’ll be able to reach the music circuit.... (+)

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Davala left Nigeria at 16 years old.

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A rebel group killed his father and he was forced to leave his mother on the road.

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He had no choice: He just jumped in a boat and arrived to Argentina, a country that he knew nothing of.

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He lives in a Hostel in San Telmo, singing Hip Hop all day.

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He says he would like to live someday nearby the mountain or the woods.

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Mahedi, from Bangladesh. Mahedi is a 34 years old man, he arrived nearly a year ago from Bangladesh asking for asylum and now he waits the resolution of his case. Nowadays, he sells toys on the street for a living.... (+)

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Mahedi is taking Spanish lessons at the University of Buenos Aires with the intention of being able to work again as a computer technician.

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Mahedi arrived to Argentina asking for asylum nearly a year ago and he is still waiting for the resolution of his case.

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He spends his time visiting the green spaces of the city.

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He left Bangladesh when the army took over the government and started persecuting dissidents.

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In the meantime, he sells toys in Florida street as a way to earn a living.

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More than 10 years ago he decided to run away from Senegal, where he was an arabic teacher. Today he lives in Quilmes, in Buenos Aires province, with his family and he works at a wallpaper factory, but he would like to teach again.... (+)

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Sanckou lives in a small cozy house on the Calchaquíes Avenue.

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Marlène is the first daughter of Sanckou born in Argentina. They tried to maintain the tradition from Senegal by asking a Senegalese friend to perform the baby’s first haircut.

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Sanckou and his wife Marie. Their sons, Mohamed Ali, Isa and Marlène. Betty is a friend they met when she arrived to Argentina, also from Senegal.

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Sanckou is muslim. He goes every week to the mosque on Urquiza street in Buenos Aires with other peoples from Senegal.

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Sanckou works in a wallpaper factory. And that’s where he got the ones he used to cover the walls of his kitchen and livingroom. He works on flexible and unpredictable hours. On saturdays afternoons, however, he manages to join his son Isa to play football on a local club.... (+)

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