The exhibition traced the borders of Europe along the Black Sea, documenting areas of the current refugee crisis. Narrating stories of these migrant journeys and the illicit crossing of borders, this project visualises the continent from the perspective of those who inhabit its edges and those who are in transit.
This project, developed in collaboration with artist Cressida Kocienski, takes its starting point from the historical connection between the way states represent themselves through maps and how citizens and non-citizens are defined. Maps are considered as world-making entities traditionally created by those in power, rather than as representations of an already existing world.
Using maps, drawings and photography – documenting a two-month journey between Istanbul, Turkey and Odessa, Ukraine – the project asks fundamental questions such as ‘where are the edges of Europe’, ‘how are they defined’ and ‘who can be included within them?’. Eight new films examine refugee experiences of crossing borders that highlight issues of people smuggling and enslaved labour of Pakistani nationals in Turkey; interviews with Syrian activists; and explore stories of those who work at the Seventh-Kilometre Market, which acts as a hub for migrants in Ukraine.
With special thanks to research assistants Emine Büsra Unluonen, Maryna Lukasheva and Theo Tei, students from the MA in Architectural Design at the University of Sheffield and everyone who shared their stories.