In August 2020, Amir, a young Afghan refugee stuck in the refugee camp of Moria and Noemi, a Spanish photo editor living in the Netherlands started an Instagram account. @now_you_see_me_moria, caught the attention of media as well as individuals online. Joined by Qutaeba, a Syrian refugee and Ali, another Afghan man, the collective continued sharing images taken from inside the camp in order to raise awareness and gain visibility.
The open call to turn their pictures into posters in January 2021 was answered by 446 graphic designers uploading their files to the website of the project. On February 14, Valentine’s Day, several hundreds if not thousands of posters that had been downloaded, appeared in the streets of European cities and in demos in front of EU buildings.
Paradox teamed up with the collective behind the project to develop a large format book that could serve as the base for multiple exhibitions as well as actions. Crowdfunding for the ‘action book’ holding all 446 posters as well as a selection of images started on April 23 on Voordekunst.nl. Within three weeks’ time, 295 donators raised €23991, 119% of the target. Thank you all very, very much for making the book possible! The first of the 1200 books and 600 exhibition kits will be sent as of today, June 14.
In the meanwhile, more than 15 exhibitions have been confirmed, amongst which Fotodoks (Munich, DE), FOMU (Antwerp, BE), Le Chiroux (Liège, BE), Weltmuseum Wien (Vienna, AT), La Casa Encendida (Madrid, ES), The Broadway Theatre (London, UK), KASKO (Basel, CH) and many other organisations large and small. Historically unique was the reaction of three prestigious Dutch venues, Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam, NL), Foam and Stedelijk Museum (both Amsterdam, NL) who released a joint press release stating they will all show the project. Normally museums want exclusivity, this time they stand shoulder to shoulder showing solidarity. Now You See Me Moria is about creating maximum visibility by as many of us as possible, organisations and individuals alike. Pushing politicians to show the courage to fundamentally change an unacceptable migration policy of which the effects are ignored by keeping them as invisible as possible. Let’s turn that around. Together!