Thana Faroq: I don’t recognize me in the shadows (Lecturis, 2020)

Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq

Thana Faroq is a Yemeni documentary photographer, speaker, educator based in the Netherlands.

As a result of  Yemen’s war that unfolded over several years, Thana was  forced into a Dutch exile. Her exploration of photography, texts, sound, and the physicality of the image itself is a way to respond to the changes that have been shaping and defining her life and sense of belonging both in Yemen and The Netherlands. Her work mirrors her life and provides a visual echo of her voice as she gracefully negotiates themes of post-memory, trauma, and migration. Thana has a unique approach to working with her subjects in that she regularly returns to them to continue sharing their journey.

Thana was a recipient of the 2018 inaugural Open Society Foundation Fellowship Grant and Exhibition and the 2019 Arab Documentary Fund supported by the Prince Claus Fund and Magnum Foundation.

Artist: http://thanafaroq.com/

Project Page: http://idontrecognisemeintheshadows.com

Publisher: Lecturis

Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq
Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq

The process of documenting the experience of asylum is never linear. I remain between the past I left behind and my future in a new country. In May 2019, I flew back to the Markazi refugee camp, the world’s only refugee camp for Yemenis in Djibouti where Yemeni refugees are currently stranded. I was one of the lucky ones who made it safety, while many still have not. I remember people sharing photos brought from home and how memories from a seemingly distant past flooded into the space.

[….]

Stories of migration and displacement are complex. There is no one single narrative. We undergo a lot of changes and our identity reflects that. As a refugee, you have to confront this new label that can affect the process of identity reformation; something we never had to consider while living in our country of origin. However, beyond the labels, I wanted to offer my own version of the story, one that is infused with my resilient spirit, unbroken, unfailing and devoid of self-pity. I wanted to climb the fences, and I did.

Artist Statement

Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq
Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq

By The Way

Talking about Surrounding Structures, the French three-piece Veik say that “The writing of the album was heavily influenced by architectural environments. We made a lot of detours when touring in 2017 and 2018 to visit modernist and brutalist buildings in France, Germany and Belgium (which caused us many delays for soundchecks.)”.


Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq
Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq
Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog
© Thana Faroq
Thana Faroq - I don’t recognize me in the shadows - Bildersturm Blog

Book Specs: English; Softcove;, Swiss binding; 168 pages,; 23.4 x 31 cm; Design: Syb; ISBN: 9789462263932. Available here.