Traces of Exile
March 25 – June 4, 2017
Los Angeles, California
The ongoing crises in the Middle East have uprooted millions of people, yet new technology allows them to keep connected to their home communities and loved ones in unprecedented ways. The smartphone has become the essential travel companion of the 21st-century refugee. Apps help migrants navigate through unfamiliar lands, stay in touch with their family and friends, contact smugglers, and even document their daily lives with selfies and posts to Instagram.
How does a refugee’s life in exile differ from his or her presence online? How does their portrayal of themselves differ from how they are depicted in the Western media?
Inspired by an Augmented Reality app that layers the smartphone camera view with nearby social media posts, this project reveals the digital traces of refugees that have been geo-tagged to a specific place, capturing the intersection of their online identities and places of exile.
About it is obvious from the map:
The show examines the role of maps and map-making in the current migration crisis between zones of conflict around the Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East. It is obvious from the map is organized by Thomas Keenan and Sohrab Mohebbi.