My mom has told an important story. Through her “Sens og Sans” photography workshop she met many of the asylum seekers in Oslo, and wanted to tell their story. In the end she found Yemane. Here is his story.
Yemane has lived 26 years in refugee centers.Yemane is Ethiopian and 58 years old. When he was 17 years old he left his country embroiled in a bloody war. This is a country that does not want him back.Yemane has been denied all his refugee applications. He does not have documentation.Yemane has not have had a private life for the last 26 years. He shares a room of 10 square meters with a stranger.Yemane is one of Norway's poorest. He owns almost nothing. The little he had, he lost in a fire at a refugee center some years ago. He receives 1800 kr per month, which is supposed to cover everything. Norwegian prison inmates receive 1900 kr per month, in addition to free food and medicine. They have their own room and many activities they can take part in at the prison. Yemane wonders whether it would be better for a "papirløse"like him to become a criminal? A few years ago he was granted permission to work for two years. The only thing he wishes for now is the ability to make a living again. The Norwegian state will not allow him to work. Yemen goes for long walks every day. This and the Bible hold him psychologically stable. He thinks that tomorrow will be better than the day today. Yemen feels forgotten. He is beginning to feel tired.
A few of my favorite pictures from the other photographers:
I am so proud of my mom. When she first started seriously pursuing photography a few years ago she said her ultimate goal was to have her photographs displayed in an exhibition. Now that she has reached her goal, we can’t wait to see where she will go and what she will do.