Immigrant Sisterhood is an ethnographic-participatory research project where young female refugees want to show different aspects of their life. The used method called Photovoice combines photography, focus groups and social action. By means of photography, Photovoice seeks to enable marginalized groups and their individuals to record and reflect on community strengths and challenges.
The girls were included in the whole research process: They developed their own research question, made pictures about a topic of concern, told stories about their pictures and their lives and showed them to public with the hope to create awareness about their specific situation. The project is still in progress. More pictures and stories will be uploaded soon….
Female refugees belong to a marginalised group of the population whose perspectives and voices are rarely included in the public discourse. The dominant visual representations of female refugees in media depict them as helpless victims or sexualized objects. These images contribute to harmful gender stereotypes that often trivialize violence against women and disregards women’s agency, voice, and their resources as survivors, protectors and providers. With this PhotoVoice project the research team wants to focus on the strengths and challenges of female refugees and show the voice of the most marginalized.
We are a group of black girls living in Italy on the Sardinian Island. We are waiting and hoping for our documents and freedom. For the moment we are living in a camp. With our pictures we want to show our lives, our strengths and our difficulties. We are human beings and we want to be treated like that. We want to show that together we are strong because we are more than friends. We are an Immigrant Sisterhood!
When I am walking on the street, old italian men think that all black girls are just prostitutes. They always say „Andiamo, andiamo“ or „Quanta costa“. They should stop to see all black girls like this, because not all black girls are like this. We have our own story, our own experiences. I want to say that we are all human beings and we don’t want to be seen only as sex objects.
When I look at this picture I know there is a bright future ahead for me. When there is hope, there is life. I like to see the future how god created it.
Just because I am black and wear shorts it doesn‘t mean that I am a prostitute. Prostitutes come to you, you don’t have to come to the girls. If the girl is not coming to you it means she is not a prostitute.
This is me. My name is Alica. I am an immigrant. I am in Italy. I see a bright future. Altough I love my country, my country is very insecure. Italy have saved me. But I have a little problem. The white people they take us for fools. They take us as nobody but we are somebody. Everybody is somebody. We have to join together and save the world. White and black together. It doesn’t make a difference. We all are human beings.
Before I came to Italy they told me it is the land of milk of honey, but I can’t find the milk, I can’t find the honey. In my future I want to become an artist. I want to help people. I want to live a normal life, like the rest of the people.
This is in my room. It is close to the window. It was in january and it was cold outside. We were just having fun together. With my sisters and my operators. We made some pictures together and get dressed up. I really enjoyed this day.
When I walk on the street I feel angry, because they often stop me and ask me stupid questions. Like “would you like to come with me?”. Just because I am walking on the street it doesn’t mean that my body is for sell. I just want to beg them to stop this nonsense.
This picture is about being alone and praying. The veil is white and this is my special color. I love everything white. I believe in god and I pray. So I know that one day everything will be good.
My name is Adesuwa. I am an immigrant and I live here in Italy. Irrespective of the fact that I am doing well, it doesn’t really mean I am perfectly ok. Sometimes I keep wondering why we are treated differently. In the sense that white people treat us as prostitutes. Is this really true? Hell, no. Despite the fact that I am refugee but truth must be told cause I stand for the truth. I know that there are many black girls who prostitute themselves to earn a living here in Italy. But we are not all the same. Some of us have a bright future. There is this saying „don’t judge a book by it’s cover“. What I am trying to say is that we should not be classified as one just because some are out there who prostitute those not really mean or are the same like there earlier say the bad ones we not let them know the good ones (sic!). Thank you!
This is my god. When I wake up I have to pray and believe in my Jesus. He gives me hope. Jesus is my strength of life. He gives me hope for moving forward. With him all things are possible.