an overheard conversation

This conversation took place looking at the work of Tobias Zeilony. Click HERE to see the images.

Thinker 1: “There’s something about having a woman as a model that lends itself to all kinds of interpretations…psychoanalysis tells us that nothing gets left behind…whether you travel physically..or psychologically..everything comes with you. Whatever this person has been through before they ended up in Hamberg…that’s come with them.”

Thinker 2: “I look at this picture of a woman in a hat..and I feel similar feelings…its the one picture where I feel some sense of strength. I’ve got an eye infection today – well, how profound is that, nothing’s a coincidence is it…it means I’m a bit blurry eyed. That works pretty well with this picture of a dignified woman on a phone in a European street and she’s wearing a hat..and when you’ve got an eye infection she looks almost aristocratic..but then when you look more clearly, the hat is tatty and the coat is second hand. So there’s both these things, she’s undeniably a very strong presence, dignified but in the details she’s a refugee, so she’s both of those things.”

Thinker 1: “…really all these people have is themselves now. They don’t have a state, they don’t have a passport, we don’t know anything about them…these people are African refugees, and all they have is themselves and the authenticity that they are bringing, its really quite remarkable because the world is not kind to refugees… I think we could be a lot more compassionate about their circumstances.”

Thinker 2: “This Greek guy said to me there’s something about the future in these photographs. History is unwritten in the case of refugees, you can turn a blind eye to it and hope its going to go away which of course its not. There’s a sense that this is now.”

Click HERE to listen to the full conversation.



Join us on our next Thinkers in Residence, 7th July at the Photographers’ Gallery in London. Click HERE for details.

If you can’t come, we will miss you but you can still exchange some random thoughts by sending them to our online Thought Crèche. Half baked ideas, random thoughts and not-quite-facts all welcome. Click HERE to submit.



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