Image Credit: Leonidas Toumpanos

Image Credit: Leonidas Toumpanos


21st — 28th November 2016

Wednesday 23rd November 2016
5.30 — 8.00pm

12pm — 5.00pm


A different perspective on forced migration

The last two years have seen an unprecedented wave of forced migration, with conflict, instability and authoritarianism in north Africa, the Middle East and other regions forcing millions to flee their homes and seek safety overseas.

This humanitarian crisis has coincided with a resurgence of the political right in Europe and north America, often resulting in simplistic narratives about refugees, and a depiction of the crisis where the experiences of those most affected by it are absent. Incomplete Images is a small attempt to respond to this imbalance, by exhibiting work by a series of artists who are themselves refugees, or who have worked in collaboration with them.

Works include:

Aram Karim’s series depicts his journey across the border between Iraq and Iran, where men smuggle fuel and other supplies in vast quantities, struggling through mud, snow and across active minefields.

Damon Amb’s practice involves digitally reworking photographs taken in his native Iran and during his subsequent travels to express his inner world. Damon writes that ‘my art doesn’t communicate the things that have happened to me or what could happen to me if I go back to Iran. I’m a criminal in my country because I’m an artist.’

Elena Kollatou  and Leonidas Toumpanos’s video piece addresses the recent war in Syria and the thousands of refugees that it created through the portrait of a young man that has settled in Greece. The film also incorporates portraits which are the result of a collaboration with a refugee photo studio in Athens.

Rahman Hassani’s series compares and contrasts the landscape of his Kurdistan with the landscape of Yorkshire in the north of England, a quintessential English landscape, drawing out differences and similarities between his former and adoptive home.

Finally, in the center of the gallery is a display of images taken from an Instagram account purportedly belonging to a young migrant named Abdou Diouf. In reality the account was a hoax created to advertise a photography festival, and highlights the way even the perspective of refugees has been appropriated.

Artist Bios:

Damon Amb is an Iranian photographer, who started taking pictures more than 20 years ago using his father’s camera, saving up his money to buy film. He has been in Australia for two years, first in detention and now living in the community on a bridging visa while waiting for a decision on his refugee status.

Aram Karim was born in 1978 in the village of Saraw, on the Iraq-Iran border. Aram is a musician and photographer, and among the founders of Metrography, the first independent agency in Iraq. Aram currently lives near Marseilles, France where he is awaiting a decision on his refugee status. Metrography’s mission is to establish a thriving photography and photojournalism industry in Iraq that breaks down ethnic, cultural and religious barriers of the country; fosters collaboration and learning; and celebrates Iraq’s diversity and history.

Rahman Hassani is an Iranian Kurdish photographer, who’s photographs have reported the poverty and discrimination issues among Kurdish people in Iraq and Iran since 2004. Currently living in the U.K. Rahman recently completed an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication. He is hoping to receive refugee status in the U.K.

Elena Kollatou and Leonidas Toumpanos are Greek documentary photographers living and working in London.  Elena holds a BA (HONS) degree on Photography and Film from Edinburgh Napier University and Leonidas currently does his MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at London College of Communication. They are working collaboratively on long-term environmental and social projects which they display in exhibitions and publish in international magazines and websites.

Incomplete Images has been curated by Monica Alcazar-Duarte and Lewis Bush and supported by London College of Communication, University of the Arts London.