This series of illustrations were inspired by the accounts given by refugees of their journeys, namely in the book 'Refugee Tales'.
This project started when I was researching the ancient Persian texts and the image of the nightingale in literature for my performance 'Watching murmurs'. The metaphor of flight as journey and displacement, of migrant as bird became so clear to me that I started creating my bird-men.
I thought of the way we look at birds, how we admire them, and in ways we aspire to be them. We link flight to freedom, to achieving our goals and being our better selves.Yet, in current times and when thinking of migration, so many amongst us are afraid of acknowledging the right of freedom in others, of admiring their qualities rather than focusing on our differences.
The book 'Refugee Tales' has brought to my attention a series of policies put in place for migrants in the UK that are akin to the image of the caged bird.
Though these images do not illustrate the tales themselves they focus on this relationship between man and bird and on the metaphors described above to reflect on particular themes that are recurrent in the book and in other testimonies I encountered.
This is a series of A2 cyanotypes where titles work as paratext, giving clues to reading the images.
Titles from left to right: : 'peril'; 'longing'; 'escape'; 'hidden'; 'barrier'; 'waiting'; 'wordless'; 'flight'; 'hope'.