“This will let the people learn how we live our lives here.” These words, spoken by an undocumented Bangladeshi worker, sum up the motivation behind a multi-country exhibition that highlights the experiences and voices of undocumented migrant workers across Greece.
This Is Evidence: Re-Picturing South Asian Migrant Men in Greece is a multi-media installation that features photographs, videos, audioscape, and narrative pieces from four groups of Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrant men living and working in Greece. It is the culmination of a two-year long collaboration between Dr. Reena Kukreja from Global Development Studies at Queen’s University and undocumented South Asian migrant men working in agriculture and the informal economy in Greece. The men used their cell phones to take images and videos and shared it in closed WhatsApp groups with Dr. Kukreja.
The exhibition premiered in Athens at the prestigious arts and cultural exhibition site, Technopolis Gazi on 11 April and ran till 14 April. At the opening, three Bangladeshi migrant workers who had participated in one of the Photovoice project came from Manolada, the hub of commercial strawberry farming in Greece, to speak directly to attendees about their hope to be “treated as human beings and not as despicable creatures.” Apart from Athenians who came by to show solidarity and learn more about the migrant lives, the exhibition was attended by groups of migrant workers in the informal tourist economy in Athens, Athens municipal councilors, and a high school group that came from the town of Larissa, a three-hour drive, just to learn more about the collaboration.
In Canada, the exhibition runs from Monday April 25 to Tuesday May 3 at the Art and Media Lab, Isabel Centre for the Performing Arts, Kingston.
The opening talk is at 5:00 PM on Wednesday April 27, 2022.
More information about the collaboration and the project can be found at the website www.thisisevidence.com