The work centers on migration, not just in the “timely” or “newsworthy” sense of today’s crisis, but as a longer study of what displacement has meant, been and wrought over the past 70 years. The timelessness of the story it weaves is riveting.
From the press release:
Today, with 65.6 million people currently displaced around the world, geographical and physical boundaries are strengthening. Extensive migration within and across borders is also reshaping local, global and multinational systems: trade and services flows have multiplied; labour markets are becoming segmented and ethnically stratified; and social and legal rights are being eroded, revealing new forms of vulnerability and inequality.
Migration is more than just numbers, statistics, headlines and faceless processions. It is a timeworn reality, a vast number of unique stories about people who choose or are forced to go into exile. It is their experiences, their journeys and their destinies that this exhibition invites visitors to discover.
Over 300 images from the photojournalists of Magnum Photos tell the story of migration: walking, waiting, uncertainty, fear… and hope. Work from the agency’s historical greats – including Robert Capa, Werner Bischof and Raymond Depardon – is displayed alongside that of contemporary photographers shooting on the ground.
From the Spanish Civil War to the Vietnam War, from the conflict in the former Yugoslavia to the one in the Middle East and the arrival of refugees at Europe’s door, the exhibition plunges the visitor into a riveting documentary exploration of our world and humanity, calling into question notions of territoriality, geopolitics, economic context and mental boundaries.
Notably, the images aren’t mounted on walls, but rather mounted on thick wood blocks and resting on shelves. Visitors are invited, encouraged even, to handle the images, creating a more intimate, urgent relationship with the photos and the subjects portrayed.