Towards the Unknown: Refugee Journeys Through Syria, Greece and Germany

The Photography of Tanya Bindra and Ali Mustafa

Opening Reception: Friday, March 31, 7-10pm
Gallery Exhibit: Sat-Sun, April 1-2, 12-5pm
Location: Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West, Toronto)
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The Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring the work of photojournalist Tanya Bindra, the first recipient of the annual Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism.

Since accepting the award in March 2016, Tanya has been documenting the lives of refugees and asylum seekers in Germany, Italy and Greece. Towards the Unknown examines the processes of identity formation and belonging among refugees and asylum-seekers, and captures the ambiguities and contradictions of their varied experiences.

Tanya has written the following artist statement about her work:

As a photographer, I am increasingly becoming interested in documenting communities with histories marked by dislocation and migration, as my own family’s history has been. I am interested in understanding the act of migrating in a period of time where more people are migrating, for various reasons, than ever before. This work allows me to examine migration as a contemporary issue at the heart of political discourse in Europe. But I suppose what interests me the most is the subjective experience of coming to a new land: how individuals struggle, survive and thrive, and what memories are passed onto their children to become part of a communal history.

It is important for me that my work reflects the lived reality of struggle and hardship that many face when coming to a new country but that it also celebrates the resilience and resistance of immigrant communities. There is so much beauty in diasporic cultures, and in some ways, I see this as a constructive way to respond to sometimes devastating realities.

Tanya is eager to continue her work documenting the experiences of migrants in Britain, Germany and France with an eye to future elections and policy shifts where immigrant and refugee issues feature prominently.

The Ali Mustafa Memorial Collective was founded in 2014 following the death of freelance photojournalist Ali Mustafa in Aleppo, Syria by a regime barrel bomb along with seven other civilians. We are a volunteer-run organization seeking to honour and preserve the work of Ali. Through our annual Ali Mustafa Memorial Award for People’s Journalism, we also provide funding to freelance photojournalists whose work documents struggles for social justice.

The exhibition will also present a selection of Ali’s work focusing on Syrian refugees.

Please join us for the opening night on Friday March 31st from 7-10 PM at the second floor gallery of the Gladstone Hotel. The photos will continue to be on display over the weekend on Saturday the 1st and Sunday the 2nd from 12-5 PM.