Photographs in archives are often 'rediscovered' and reanimated by artists but sometimes their latent charge is brought to the surface by the changing circumstances around them. Michal BarOr and Samuel Foster both write about photographs that have remained dormant for long periods, only to be brought back into circulation because political events have made them suddenly, urgently relevant once again.
Anna Kurpaska has returned home to the village of Raba Wyzna in rural Poland to make an extended series of images of her mother and her mother's brother. They have lived together there in a family house they own for most of their lives, as part of a close knit community bonded together by a shared history. Declan Long introduces the work and imagines it as a construction of a landscape of long term belonging.
Donald Mahoney provides a glimpse into the machinations of the Irish immigration bureaucracy to contextualise the work produced by Anthony Haughey and the Asylum Archive project. The Asylum Archive was originally started as a coping mechanism by one artist while they were seeking political asylum in Ireland after fleeing Serbia. We reproduce a selection of material from the Archive including documentation of Direct Provision Centres that are used to house those in the ayslum process, along with images the artist made before leaving Belgrade. The Archive, which also contains contributions from other Asylum seekers, activists and immigration lawyers can be seen in its entirety online at www.asylumarchive.com. The work will be included in An Unsettled State an exhibition which opens at The Gallery of Photography in June.
Anthony Haughey began making work in a Government Reception Centre for Asylum Seekers at a former Butlins Holiday Camp in Co. Meath in 2004. There he too found out about the Kafkaesque experience of negotiating citizenship, this time from the point of view of individuals temporarily housed, stateless and awaiting a decision which will decide their fate, either licence to remain or deportation by the Department of Justice. His new work Citizen builds on that project and has led him to a variety of locations on the edges of 'fortress Europe' where he examines migration through a process of engagement and collaboration with those seeking to become citizens.