The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest is organising the photo exhibition “Lesvos with my eyes” giving the opportunity to Amir Ali to present his perspective for the Mytilene city and the Lesvos island that became his home the last 3,5 years.
In 2015 Lesvos became an epicenter for the refugee crisis sweeping across Europe and Asia. In 2015 and 2016, tens of thousands of people, escaping war, violence and economic instability in their home countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa arrived on the shores of of Lesbos after crossing the Mytilene strait from Turkey.
For these refugees, Lesvos was a land of hope from the dark, cruel world of war and death that they were escaping in Syria and other parts of the world. Despite the dangerous passing across the sea, reaching Lesvos represented a promise of safety and hope for a better life.
The idea of this exhibition was born as an effort to give the opportunity to people leaving under very difficult conditions in a refugee camp to express their view on the land that became their home and to the local community to develop a better understanding of the people that came as refugees on their island.
The exhibition underscores how art can shed light on the complex circumstances surrounding the biggest refuges crisis of our time. It is made possible by a partnership between two institutions whose missions have always centered on how culture and education can make our societies better.
Through the exhibition of Amir Ali someone can see the incredible resilience of these people, their courage, their strength, and their feelings of love for the island of Lesvos….
The Photographer Amir Ali
I was born in 1988 in Afghanistan in a village in highland with beautiful mountains and great landscape. I lived there until age of 10, after it because of civil wars we forced to leave our home town, my family emigrated to Tehran capital of Iran and I was with them, in Iran most of the time I was in countryside. I grow up in Green lands with farming and enjoying of nature and suffering of being a refugee, Cause of being refugee I couldn’t access to education so I start working at age of 11, I had different jobs (a shepherd, gardener, farmer,….) I stayed in Iran until age of 24 and then moved back to Afghanistan I joined to military service for 3 years to fight and protect my country and my family from terrorist groups, during my service in military I learned and changed a lot because of this I realized that my life can’t be continue in Afghanistan so once again I forced to leave my country but this time I must leave my family too, this time I moved much farther than before, ended up here in beautiful island of Greece, Lesvos, now it has been three and half years that I am living here, I passed a difficult path but my path passed from beautiful places and I am happy of it.
Why I am doing photography, since I remember I loved and love our mother (nature) how kind and amazing it is, so I want to photograph it and show it to others from my perspective
I remember from my childhood sleeping on rooftop and watching the milky way with my necked eyes, it was wonderful, I would love to do night and star photography to show how magical and peaceful it is , with all the problems we are having in this decades I believe life condition is better compeer to a century ago but because of our technology and media we haring lots of bad news every day, so one of my mission in photography is to show the good side of our world, topography is one of the activities that I enjoy, also I do portrait and city photography because beauty is in everywhere,
In the end, this photo exhibition was not possible without the help of Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest.