CAN YOU SEE ME takes you into the world of young adults between the ages of 20 and 30 years who have fled to the Netherlands in 2014 or 2015 to start a new life. The project was executed in various refugee centers across the Netherlands.
CAN YOU SEE ME adopts a form of interactive visual storytelling in which the artist facilitates and the participants create. It builds upon their visions, stories and creativity. Pinhole photography is used as artistic method. The participants took all the pictures themselves with homemade pinhole cameras. Stories were captured with a small pinhole in a soda-can.
CAN YOU SEE ME is an initiative of visual anthropologist J.J. Priester (Art of InfluX foundation). She aims to give an alternative for the way in which refugees are generally talked about and tries to let go of the often all-determining attributed label of ‘refugee’ by creating space for visual self-expression based on the individual.
'Refugee’ is not an identity, it is a situation in which you are in. The word ‘refugee’ creates distance. By looking in a different way and omitting this word, the distance from one to another all of a sudden becomes a lot smaller."