November 2, 2020 ・ Still I Rise Press Office

Through our eyes: living as children in a refugee camp

The pictures taken by refugee minors in Samos hotspot have become a book, which will be presented online on November 5th together with Nicolò Govoni, Nicoletta Novara, and with the special participation of Pietro Bartolo

After travelling across more than 36 cities around the world, the photographic exhibition "Through our eyes" of Still I Rise becomes a book, published by BUR Rizzoli and available in all bookstores from November 3rd. All the revenues will be allocated to the educational activities run by Still I Rise in Syria.

The presentation of the book will take place on November 5th at 6 pm through a special online event organized on the website Il Giardino dei Libri. One of the young authors of the pictures will bring her testimony alongside Nicolò Govoni, President of Still I Rise and Nicoletta Novara, lecturer of the photographic project and curator of the exhibition. Furthermore, the presentation will include the special participation of Pietro Bartolo, Vice-President of the LIBE Commission at the European Parliament.

During the event, the hosts will also have the pleasure to introduce the first episode of the web-series “Through Our Eyes”, a documentary that will allow the public further understand and learn about the daily reality experienced by teenage refugees.

The book is intended as a real choral project. It begins with a tale written by Nicolò Govoni, recounting a poignant story of friendship, integration and survival in the framework of Samos hotspot. It continues with letters complemented by Nicoletta Novara presenting the two sections of the photographic project, before and after the pandemic. Only then, it reaches the very core of the workpiece: the pictures taken by the children and young refugees on the island, speaking of a daily life divided between the horrors of an inhuman refugee camp and the wonder of discovering the European culture, where their hope for a better tomorrow is embedded.

The children themselves talk about their lives, their dreams and their daily struggles. They do it in first person, complementing with a short caption each shot taken through the techniques learned during the photography workshop attended in Mazì, the educational center for teenage refugees run by Still I Rise in Samos.

«At Mazí we used photography to give them their uniqueness back. We did not want someone else to speak on their behalf, but we tried to better understand the overall refugee condition, through their eyes», says Nicoletta Novara. «Samos hotspot seems to operate on a thread of human humiliation, rather than on the concept of hospitality. Every day, our students fight a personal battle of resistance towards a system that does not treat them as human beings in a condition of fragility, but rather as an uncomfortable entity not worthy of being part of civil society».

«I feel very proud», concludes Nicolò Govoni. «I have been working for seven years to allow those children who are neglected to tell their stories without intermediaries, without filters, without external manipulation. Putting my voice and my platform at their service is the honour of my life».

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