A Tunis photo exhibition highlights the pain of migrants' families

June 25, 2015 In Tunisia, twenty-two women were the subject of a new photo exhibition which show the pain and suffering of women waiting to hear from their husbands, sons and brothers who have embarked on perilous journeys from Africa to Europe via the Mediterranean.

Om el-Khir who attended the exhibition lives with three of her children and is still hoping to hear from her husband who took the route in March 2011. She is now involved with the “Land for Everyone” foundation, which works to press authorities for information about those who are missing.

She said “Like anyone else, like all the young people who throw themselves into the sea, they are not doctors’ sons, not professors’ son, not ministers’ sons, not the sons of someone important. They are the sons of the poor, whose mothers collect plastic or sell bread,”

Aymen Omrani, the photographer behind the project said the tragedy experienced by the men extends to the women they left behind.

“I invited the women on purpose. I didn’t want them to be just pictures for tourists who just like to collect them or just pictures for people to look at, so they say ‘that’s nice’. I mean, the pictures may please people but the reality (of the situation) may not. That’s why I wanted the women here in person, they are individuals, they are the ones who are suffering,”

Peter Schafer of Tunis‘ Rosa Luxemburg institute, said the European way of looking at migrants was very limited, and feels more humanity should be involved.

“The debate about migration, especially in Europe is always a passing idea or a discussion about figures, the numbers of the disappeared, without having their names or anything about them. For me, this is an opportunity to hear about and discover their names and see that there is a story behind the numbers,”

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