I arrive in Libya for the first time in December of 2014. First at Ras-Jedir, on the border with Tunisia, then to Zuwara, a city known for transporting immigrants by boat to Italy, known for shipwrecks. Known for those who live the fifty-fifty: life or death. I meet 26-year-old Yunes in Zuwara. He’s a telecommunications engineer who became a fixer for journalists. He also fought in the 2014 war. At our first meeting, Younes asked me an upsetting but pertinent question: “Are you here for the migrants or the war?” It is upsetting as it displays what motivates the media, and their interests in his country; it is pertinent, frank and direct, as it describes the political context: is it possible to dissociate the war and the plight of migrants? Built as an installation, this exhibition brings its audience into a narrative where the relation between visibility and invisibility plays out among those that live here, and those that find themselves here, for better or for worse.
Exhibition curator: Léa Bismuth, with the collaboration of Marie Sumalla and Nicolas Jimenez.
Exhibition coproduced by the Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire and the Rencontres d’Arles, with support from Olympus and Le Monde newspaper.
Prints by Picto, Paris.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
Samuel Gratacap’s project has been supported by the FNAGP, the CNAP, the agnès b. endowment found, and Olympus.