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Athens Photo Festival 2012: Christian Vium


’ I did not die – I was not living either!
Try to imagine, if you can imagine,
me there, deprived of life and death at once. ’

Dante Aligheri, Inferno, Canto XXXIV:25-27

Clandestine is a story about life and death. It is the story of men who risk everything in order to provide a better future for their families. The project Clandestine is an ongoing documentary project about clandestine migration from West Africa to Europe. It is a photographic account of the long and perilous journey, undertaken by young african men, through the vast expanses of the Sahara, across the hostile waves of the ocean and into a foreign continent, Europe.

Clandestine is an intimate investigation of men who must renounce themselves and become nobody in order to become somebody, and how, as the journey unfolds, they become naked lives. In its essence, Clandestine is a project about prolonged human liminality. The immediate drama of the actual crossing is mirrored in a profound psychological and symbolic journey. The crossing is a rite of transition, in which the young migrants become suspended in an existential no man’s land. Between adolescence and adulthood. Between the familiar and the foreign. Between Africa and Europe. Between life and death.

Clandestine investigates how the migrants navigate this marginal ‘space’ and how they cope with fear, loneliness, longing, absence, shame and marginalisation during the journey, and in Europe.

Christian Vium (born 1980) is a Danish photographer, anthropologist and documentary film-maker, working on multi-disciplinary projects with a strong participatory approach. The projects are most often based on long-term anthropological research. He has conducted field research in countries such as Afghanistan, Brasil, Burma, China, Kosovo, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal, South Africa and Thailand related to issues of nomadism, migration, conflict, human rights, urban marginalisation, poverty, and youth. Visual anthropology in the form of photography and documentary film constitutes an integral part of his methodological approach.

October 19 – November 4, 2012
“Technopolis“ of the City of Athens
Pireos 100, Gazi
Athens, Greece

Hours: Monday-Friday 17:00-22:00, Saturday-Sunday 12:00-22:00

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