Photographer Robin Hammond Hands Camera to Refugees
New Zealander Robin Hammond has spent two decades crisscrossing the developing world and telling other people’s stories, Guardian correspondent Lizzy Davies writes. For his latest project the award-winning photographer has embarked on a paradigm shift: to remove himself – and others like him – from the process entirely.
“I’ve spent most of my career on the African continent being an outsider, telling other people’s stories, and I wanted to see if I could contribute to supporting the capacity of refugees to tell their own stories,” Hammond told Davies on a Zoom from New Zealand, where he is currently based.
The result is One Thousand Dreams, a project of remarkable ambition and scale that launched last week, a curation of stories and photographic portraits of refugees, by refugees. So far Hammond estimates they have nearly 700 interviews and pictures; the aim is to get to 1000. Each has been submitted by one of 40 refugee storytellers, some of whom, Hammond says, “had never picked up a camera before in their lives”.
The spur for the project was a desire to change the “predominantly toxic if occasionally well-meaning” narrative around refugees perpetuated in much of the European media, Hammond says.
Original article by Lizzy Davies, The Guardian, June 18, 2021.