In Pursuit of Freedom
Credits: tish lampert
I have spent my career documenting human rights battles across the globe, specifically displacement from conflict. .This work illustrates the journey from fear and disruption to finding a new hope for the future. This work is united in theme and divided in origin. I begin depicting what it’s like to travel along the U.S.-Mexico border — and shine a light on the humanity that’s often lost in polarized, politicized discussions about immigration, asylum and security. Nearly fifteen years in the making, this project includes images of barriers along our sun-scorched southern border — a worn out shoe, the border walls, steel and razor wire — contrasted with intimate depictions of children and families striving to navigate the divide. The pairing is intentional. It feels like we most often look at the story of migration from a detention perspective here in the U.S. We’re not often looking at this story as a journey. We’re avoiding the moments and flashpoints that would bring us into the human story. Taking that angle inspires a more human reaction and an ability to relate — maybe even a desire to help.Many of these images focus on individual portraits, especially those of Central American refugees, forced to wait on the Mexican side of the border as they apply for asylum to the United States. Separated sisters, lovers, grandparents embrace during a three-minute visit at the border’s now-closed “Door of Hope.” And an image of a man finally getting some sleep, in a shelter, after walking for many days in the arid desert. In contrast to the human story I choose to pair the vulnerability of asylum seekers against the back drop of the razor wire that is in place as barriers adjacent to the steel industrial "border wall" that marks the perimeter between the U.S. and Mexico, and the unmarked grave sites in the Terrace Park Cemetary, in Holtville, Calif., where hundreds of unknown migrants are buried — migrants who died on their journey northward.In one review from an exhibition I was a part of in 2018, on this theme, a reviewer wrote : “That women and children feature prominently in Lampert’s exhibit shouldn’t be surprising considering they've been a focal point of her globe-spanning work with organizations like the Conflict Awareness Project, Doctors Without Borders and The Africa Project, as well as California-based nonprofits Gente Unida and the Creative Visions Foundation. She also spent five years as media director and photographer for the United Nations’ Voices of African Mothers”.
The remarkable courage it takes to survive war, gang related violence, cartel extortion and environmental displacement demands human strength and resislience that most of us can not understand. What i first witnessed in Congo, Rwanda, and Burundi, fourteen years ago, has been a guiding force that has encouraged me to tell this story.
Throughout this voyage I have been uplifted by young refugees who have not lost hope and are determined to fill their lives with opportunity and promise. This is the hallmark of the human spirit that we all must value and hold dearly in our hearts. This narrative, In Pursuit of Freedom, provides a wider lens into the path of seeking asylum from violence in Central America and Mexico as well as recovery from conflict and war in Sub Sahara Africa.
Short URL: Visura.co/x/56375