Migrants/Refugees - Isle of Dreams

PhotographerTANGI
PrizeHonorable Mention
Entry Description

Paris 2016. As the social services’s offices for refugees and asylum seekers are located at 127 Boulevard de La Villette, more than 3800 migrants (Afghans, Sudanese, Erythreans) settled along the aerial subway, at the St Martin Canal - where I live. Because this settlement is located by my appartment, these pictures have only been taken during my daily commute, on my way to work or shopping. I didn’t seek to make such photographs, I did not want to be on attitude of photo documentary. How to show our two realities ? Taken in september : Day after day, their presence was superimposed, one image on another : the one of the urban detritus and the one of the victims of the attacks, particularly the white cloth which is also their blanket. The name of some of their camping tents was « Ile of Dreams ».

Story

When news brings us at thousands of kilometers, I wanted to bear witness of what was going on near my home where more than 2000 migrants, in majority Afghans, came to live, under the aerial Metro station « Jaures », and next to the Saint Martin Canal in Paris. These migrants are part of more than 3800 migrants (Afghans, Sudanese and Erythreans) settled along the aerial subway, until the station « Stalingrad », because the social services’s offices for refugies and asylum seekers are located close by, at 127 La Villette boulevard. I am born in Paris and since 30 years I live along the Canal St Martin. Because this settlement is located by my appartment, these pictures have only been taken during my daily commute, on my way to work or going grocery shopping. I didn’t seek to make such photographs, I did not want to be on attitude of photo documentary. As they were so close, it was difficult to « see » them and to take photos. I didn’t want to disturb or to appear as a voyeur. But I wanted also to testify of our two realities. Knowing also that I was looked at too, passing by almost every day. It took me long time before I decided to try to « make something ». So I made these photos early in the morning, as sometime I have to leave home early to work, or late at night coming back from an evening out, or with a camera on my chest, not targeting. The serie is composed in 2 parts : 1.Taken in september : Day after day, their presence was superimposed, one image on another : the one of the urban detritus and the one of the victims of the attacks, particularly the white cloth which is also their blanket. The name of some of their camping tents was « Ile of Dreams ». 2. On november 4th : the camp have had already been evacuated by the local authorities on July 26th and September 16th. These pictures were taken on the last dismantling by the police. Early that morning, 82 buses had transported the migrants to be relocated in shelters in Ile de France. As for the first part, I didn’t seek to make such photographs. I had just come back from a trip abroad. I took those pictures on my way to an apointment, back and from home. This time, there is no visual difficulties to « see ». But, I was not fully allowed to make photos, as the police pushed back anyone who wanted to enter the « unhealphy » place. In the silence of the night, what are they dreaming of.

About Photographer

Myriam Tangi is Born, lives and works in Paris Her creative path has followed three artistic venues : Painting – Photography – Poetry Diploma in Drawing at Ecole des Beaux Arts Paris Myriam Tangi has received many prizes and awards for her art work in painting, among them The Foundation Vocation Award, a Bronze Medal awarded by the Town of Paris, The Charles Oulmont and Taylor Foundations Awards. Myriam Tangi published three poetry books. The first one has been awarded by L’Académie française PHOTOGRAPHY : Travels in Yemen – India – USA - URSS “Mehitza. Seen by Women”, her photographic essay where she explores the distance and the separation between men and women in Jewish tradition have been exhibited at the MAHJ Paris, and published. Series in photography : « The Last Jews of Yemen » and « Urban intimacy at Paris plage » : Honorable mention at IPA « Migrants/Refugees – Isle of Dreams » : Finalist at SIPA