SELVES, © Besart Reka, Bayrush Reka, Maryam Rasoul, Ali Moradi, Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh, 2017.
Shared accommodations are new buildings that have emerged as a temporary housing solution for asylum seekers in Germany after 2015 which are mainly located on the periphery. When the obligation to stay in the reception centers ends, asylum seekers should be accommodated in shared accommodation.
The so-called temporary accommodation regulation is the embodiment of non-civil status. It is a stopover between exclusion and inclusion, bare life and political existence. A status of cultural, social and political transition.
With a participatory approach, SELVES shows different perspectives: Four children from Albania, Afghanistan, and Syria document their everyday lives in temporary accommodation for asylum seekers in Düsseldorf.
SELVES draws on the notion of the individual eye-witness and challenges the convention of singular authorship. It goes beyond the democratization of the means of reproduction to a “democracy of the self” and enables photographers to understand themselves as participating agents in the making of their own Story/history.
The pictures were taken with disposable cameras that were distributed to the children in a dormitory in Düsseldorf. Nafiseh Fathollahzadeh worked with children aged six to eleven years for one year.During a collaborative workshop, she gave the children an overview of photojournalism and worked with the participants on the development of their interests.
Some took pictures of their accommodations, houses, family life and their friends. Others pointed their cameras at nature. After reviewing the images at the end of each session, they made a selection and pasted them into a notebook with a title and description. Finally, Fathollahzadeh photographed her cameras and notebooks to show the result of the collaborative photojournalism.