A lot like Aida Silvestri, Yto Barrada explores similar concepts of refugees fleeing their homeland via a visual exploration being photography.
During 2013 I saw Barradas work in a exhibition called ‘No Borders’ at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.
The displayed work by Barradas shows individuals known as the ‘burnt ones’ sleeping in parks. The burnt ones are refugees who have illegally fled across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco to Europe. These people are known as the burnt ones as they are notorious for burning their passports to maintain anonymous in an attempt to help them illegally escape their country. The images show an exhausted and vulnerable faceless escapee sleeping helplessly on the ground with their heads covered in order to remain hidden from authorities. Similar to Silvestri the hidden faces create a sense of mystery and ambiguity, the vulnerable state in which they lay suggests hopelessness and exhaustion, physically and mentally.
Photographs from the series ‘Sleepers’ by Yto Barrada, 2006.