Tagged as Immigrants

Tagged as Immigrants is a series of wet collodion passport-looking tintypes that revisit this historically significant photographic to address links between, photography, shared identities and colonialism, specifically looking at how photographic archives have contributed to the construction of national identities and the consequent notions of us and the other.

The series uses the main photographic technique of the Victorian era, once used to write and excluding history of society, from a decolonial perspective and relies on dynamics of mutual benefit, interdependence and collaboration between the agents involved in the production of the artwork.

Started as part of the Refugee Week of 2017 and coinciding with my 10th migrant anniversary, I invited people in my social network to come to my studio and participate in a series that related portraiture with migration. Participants needed to consider themselves as immigrants before agreeing to participate.

The production of artwork relied on the participants’ initiative to a) consider themselves as immigrants and b) take the time and energy to come to my studio and do a tintype. This interdependence between the artist and the participant was reinforced by a mutual benefit dynamic: each participant was welcomed to stay in my studio, learn about the collodion process and received a copy of their tintype.

I launched the call in my social network knowing that participants will have an interest in contemporary art and will be more likely to benefit from the rare opportunity of learning about the collodion process and having a tintype portrait made.

The resulting outcome of this participatory project is an archive of 200+ tintype portraits of arts related people based in London, who would see themselves as immigrants, including myself. It's an archive of performed self- biographies, which reviews the production of photographic archives from decolonial strategies.

This series uses the most archival photographic process to leave a legacy of a contemporary understanding of identity, photography, and the production of artwork.

Tagged as Immigrants has been displayed at The Photographers' Gallery, London (UK), at Château Lamazière, Paris (FR), Le Centquatre-Paris in Paris with Festival Circulation(s), at Four Corners Gallery , London (UK), and at Studio BONG Gallery, Florence (IT). It has been featured at Photomonitor, Radio France Internationale, Yogurt Magazine, L'Oeil de La Photographie, Le Quotidien de l'Art, Art Visions and other media. Project participants’ have also been involved in the consumption of the artwork in these places. 

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