Organised by Visioncy agency, Exodus-Déjà Vu is a traveling photographic exhibition that delves into the refugee crises through the images of 12 renowned photographers. In conjunction with World Refugee Day on 20 June, the exhibition goes online for the first time since its inception becoming available to a global audience. A series of multilingual live interviews with the photographers will run alongside the showcase adding depth and clarity to the images.
Migrants arrive by Turkish cruise boat near the village of Skala, Lesbos island Greece, November 16, 2015. The Turkish boat owner delivered some 150 persons to the Greek coast and tried to escape back to Turkey. He was later arrested in Turkish waters. (Photo by Sergey Ponomarev)
Much more than the sum of its parts, this project seeks to illuminate the plight of refugees across the world, which has seen millions of people displaced as a result of brutal conflict. The exodus that they experience is something that repeats itself over and over, a common thread that ties each together in terrible ways, and it is this painful déjà vu that this exhibition focuses on to raise awareness and trigger discussions on the issues that surround it.
Photographers and photojournalists including Coskun Aral (Turkey), Issa Touma (Syria), Roland Neveu (France), Sergey Ponomarev (Russia), Rahman Roslan (Malaysia), Yalda Moayeri (Iran), Fabiola Ferrero (Venezuela), Guillermo Arias (Mexico), Jean Chung (Korea), Suthep Kritsanavarin (Thailand) and Atilgan Özdil (Turkey) each bring their own perspective on the issue, having followed and captured the journeys of refugees over prolonged periods.
Central American migrants – mostly from Honduras traveling to the United States – react as they surrender to Border patrol agents (unseen) after crossing into the United States in Playas de Tijuana, Baja California State, Mexico, at the US-Mexico border on December 2, 2018. (Photo by Guillermo Arias)
With support from UNHCR and NGOs including Amnesty International, Asylum, Anadolu and various embassies around the region, the images have so far been exhibited in Kuala Lumpur, Ankara, Istanbul, Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Its next stop would have been New York, but due to the pandemic, this like so many things been cancelled. Out of this has arisen the opportunity to reach an even bigger audience by bringing the exhibition into the virtual world.
Adding insight to the images will be interviews with the authors, set to be uploaded on various social media and online platforms. The dialogues will also touch on the challenges of photojournalism and how it can be used to further a cause.
Other elements of this diverse project include the publication of a book, guided tours, public conferences and educative workshops that offer a comprehensive look at what has become a truly global issue.
Photo by Yalda Moayeri
The virtual exhibition goes live on 20 June and will be available on visioncy.org and exodus-dejavu.com; on Instagram pages @visioncy and @exodus_deja_vu; and on Facebook pages Visioncy and Exodus Déjà Vu.