The project aims to inform the local population of the rich cultural heritage of the migrants that are currently stuck on the Balkan route and who are routinely depicted in the media as trespassers, as ‘the unwanted,’ and as dangerous. This series of portraits of migrants that come from countries in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa visually fuses their contemporary itinerant status with their enchanting cultural background. The subject of each portrait poses with a photo created by the author of this project in their home countries depicting a landmark, a folk tradition, regional food, or similar, as this represents the collective memory of their home. Alongside each portrait, the subject’s testimony explains their reason for traveling the Balkan route and the significance of the ‘homeland’ photo they hold. This project thus breaks down the depersonalized images of migrants that dominate our news cycle, instead giving a human face to these individuals and a personalized portrayal of their home and their journey. This unique approach to visualizing a dire contemporary situation: by showing the beauty and depth of far-away cultures and traditions, works to bridge disparate communities and foster curiosity and goodwill about ‘the other.’


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