What does it mean to be on a journey? The summer holidays are fast approaching, and perhaps you are planning a journey to somewhere nice, or perhaps you are travelling to see your family. Some travel from places of threat to someplace safe. Withal, it is the hope of safety as well as a future that pushes plenty of people on journeys away from war, unrest, poverty and climate change.
The project «On a Journey» was initiated by Preus Museum on January 2017 based on photos taken by refugees who arrived into Norway. It is a contemporary documentary project and a part of the exhibition project “#Jeg (or english: #I): from Self-portrait to Selfie”. Within the project the museum collected and presented portraits and self-portraits taken by refugees and asylum seekers on their journeys between their home country and Norway. The participants comes from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, who was based in an asylum not too far away from the museum.
On the photo you see Ali Riza Mohammadi (number two from the left) smiling onboard a boat together with other refugees crossing the Mediterranean. So, those are not tourists enjoying a ride in an inflatable rubber boat, but human beings hoping for a better future. Ali travelled the detours from Afghanistan to Norway in 2016, but he was deported back by the end of the year. He is still a refugee.
The UN commemorate World Refugee Day on the 20th of June. In many people's minds the word «refugees» describe an undefined, threatening and faceless group. The pictures in the media portray a helpless hord demanding things of us. However, the photographs from the project «On a Journey» carries another story. Through these pictures we meet people who are strong, who took the fate of their lives in their own hands, people who believe in safety and possibly a good life away from war and undemocratic societies. The images convey the verity of their humanity; that they are people with the same dream of a good life in peace and safety.