Exhibition of Photographs of Refugees in Lomza
Polish photographer Marek Maliszewski’s photo exhibition, “In the Middle of the Road” which depicts the lives of Chechen refugees in Łomża is opening on April 14th.
According to information from Gazeta.pl’s Białystok edition, Fundacja Ocalenia (Foundation Salvation) which helps with the integration of refugees, is the owner of the project’s idea. It was very difficult to get permission from the Chechen refugees for photographing, however, Satsita Khumaidova, a member of Fundacja Ocalenia, guaranteed them that the photos would be used only for a good purpose and then the project was realized.
The organizers of the exhibition would like to show the situation of Chechen refugees in Łomża. After the closing of the refugee center in the city, many Chechens didn’t leave the area and started to live in difficult conditions. Also, the organizers are trying to explain that Poles and Chechens have different religions, languages, and customs. They believe that without a basic knowledge of those who live in the neighborhood or are going to school with their children, it is easy to believe harmful stereotypes.
The exhibition has 17 photographs along with brief descriptions that explain the stories of different people.
“Our goal is to show the people of Łomża that the Chechens are not an anonymous homogeneous group. It is a community consisting of various experiences of specific individuals, personal stories, and views,” said Kamil Kamiński, the head of Fundacja Ocalenia.
“There are good people with us; angry men, women and children. People with higher education and people with lower education. So we do not want them to throw us all into one bag with the word Chechens,” said one of the Chechens.
Fundacja Ocalenia invites people to learn the stories of these special people, at the opening of the exhibition “In the Middle of the Road…(W połowie drogi…)”. The exhibition will be open on April 14 at 12 o’clock in the Municipal Cultural House (Miejskim Domu Kultury – Domu Środowisk Twórczych w Łomży, przy ul. Wojska Polskiego 3). The photo exhibition will be shown until April 22. Also, a website which is dedicated to the Project will be run on April 14 at www.wpolowiedrogi.org.pl.
Some photos from the exhibition:
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco