Unlawful Presences

2019 — ongoing

Two thirds of the population of Geneva are of migrant origin. This reality shapes the identity of the city. However, on their way to work or school, thousands of individuals are at risk of being arrested, imprisoned, and finally expelled from the country, because of their lack of residency status.

People of different origins, nationalities, and backgrounds, who live in precarious situations and are forced to anonymity. In the fifth richest city in the world, housing, safe and healthy working conditions, health care, education and access to justice are not guaranteed. For many, these fundamental rights are inaccessible privileges.

This project was created in the framework of the photographic investigation commissioned by the City of Geneva. The work is part of the collections of the Centre d’iconographie de la Bibliothèque de Genève.

The project was first planned as a exhibition dispersed across the center of Geneva during the Human Rights Day to encourage reflection on access to art in public spaces. In the second phase, which is still underway, a web application has been created to provide access to the stories of those involved. It also contributes to the community by acting as a platform for essential information on accommodation, nutrition and various forms of assistance relating to health, rights and violence. The project intends to evolve into an autonomous collaborative platform.

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