Documentary, Features, Photojournalism

Undressing the Refugee Crisis with Sara Furlanetto

All images © Sara Furlanetto, courtesy of the artist

Let Me Tell You Who I Am, a new photography series documenting the movement of refugees across Europe, started in the spring of 2015, it is the result of almost a year of research across the continent, revealing, in a collection of portraits, the people behind the greatest movement of humanity since the Second World War.

The series was created by Sara Furlanetto, a 22-year-old, London College of Communications graduate, who is interested in documenting “women’s rights, refugees and minority groups.”

With Let Me Tell You Who I Am, she set-out to get first-hand knowledge on refugees, and how European countries deal with their ‘crisis’.

Calais, North of France, 10 November 2015. Filomena, 20, originally from Eritrea. Her situation results unclear. Although her family moved to Greece when she was a kid, she might have lived there illegally ever since. Aiming to reach the UK alone, she eventually ended up in the Jungle refugee camp.

Calais, North of France, 10 November 2015. Filomena, 20, originally from Eritrea. Her situation results unclear. Although her family moved to Greece when she was a kid, she might have lived there illegally ever since. Aiming to reach the UK alone, she eventually ended up in the Jungle refugee camp.

“When I embarked myself in this project, it felt also like a journey across the diversity of human interactions and reactions. I learnt and proved that communication is the foundation for a healthy social environment,” Furlanetto says.

The ethos of her work is to involve her subjects in the creative process, which is why her portraits are combined with drawings or writings left by people (either her subjects, or others), upon her request.

Furlanetto grew up in the North of Italy, where the right populist party forms propaganda against asylum seekers, and, as she says, “has a worrying support across all the North of the country.”

Calais, North of France, 25 October 2015. Hawraz and Hewar, Kurds from Iraq, have fled their country aiming to reach the UK. They eventually found stuck in the Jungle, her being pregnant of four weeks at their arrival.

Calais, North of France, 25 October 2015. Hawraz and Hewar, Kurds from Iraq, have fled their country aiming to reach the UK. They eventually found stuck in the Jungle, her being pregnant of four weeks at their arrival.

“I believe and have faith in the power of photography as a way to break down those walls, stimulating genuine human interaction and therefore bring positive social change,” she says.

Although Sara Furlanetto graduated with a BA in photojournalism and documentary photography, her latest work is not intended to be perceived through a photojournalist approach. Furlanetto simply wanted to represent her subjects through building an interaction between them and the audience.  In that sense, it’s a public declaration.

Find out more about Sara’s work here.