365 Algarve

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From 10 April, 2018 to 05 May, 2018 . Faro

“Refúgio e Segregação”

Elisabete Maisão

This exihbition is part of the festival: 4ª Edição Festival "encontros do DeVIR"

The migratory movement of people escaping their own countries takes place for a thousand of years now. The refugee crisis in Europe has become one of the largest crisis in history of mankind. Photographer Elisabete Maisão covered refugee camps in Europe, in the Middle East, she was recently in Roraima, on the border between Brazil and Venezuela. In her work visits as a photographer she volunteers and teaches photography to children (Project HOPEN). In all this places she heard stories of people, of families that were forced to leave their countries and begin a journey with no destination, being confronted with a Europe with closed doors. In Calais, six thousand refugees have tried to cross the English Canal to get to England. In Greece, thousands of refugees have died and die to this day crossing Turkey to Lesbos; the nowadays dismantled Idomeni camp once accommodated eighteen thousand people. Military camps where they were forcible conducted to still accommodate thousands of refugees. In Lebanon, there are many families waiting for the war in Syria to be over, so that they can return home and rebuild their lives. Nowadays, on the other side of the Atlantic, with the crisis in Venezuela, there are many refugees arriving to the state of Roraima, on the border with Brazil. In the cities of Boa Vista and Pacaraima, the lives of the inhabitants have taken on new forms, the places they live in have transformed into sanctuary cities. The border between Venezuela and Brazil is open. Most of the refugees changing country are from the Warau ethnicity. Because they are indigenous people they endure more integrations and acceptance problems. Because they have few economic resources their subsistence depends on outside help. In this migratory movement there are indigenous and non-indigenous refugees, and yet they do not blend in together. There are stories of racism, of difficulty of integration, of segregation in a system discriminated from the beginning. In all this places, people live in a limb waiting for outside solutions that help them find integration solutions for their lives. There are plenty of positive stories of sharing, in spaces of great diversity where a strong community sense is felt. This photographic experience is born from these experiences, this gaze, that makes us wonder about the difficulties faced by those that are forced to distance themselves from their roots, to live in a new reality.
Elisabete Maisão



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