Ziad

The writer Roc Casagran tells about Ziad's dreams, a 13 year-old kid, who someday will open his own photo exhibition

Today Ziad is sorrounded by many cultural journalists throwing so many questions at him about why is he opening this photo gallery exhibition in Barcelona, now this is the first time his work can be seen in Catalunya after having been in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and a very long etcetera.

The young photographer's career has been golden success and he's been required by many  of the best contemporary art galleries. Critics say his photos are fullfilled with truth, they shake minds and perfectly combine social protest and an excelent work. Not only critics adore him, but also the big public follow him enthusiatically, and front pages around the world hire him to illustrate their newspaper or reviews covers.

And now he is in Catalunya, thrilled to open The telling photography's exhibition, he conceeds a massive press conference. He has greeted by only using four catalan words and this is how he successfully opened the conference. "How come you know a little of our language?" Asks a reporter. From here on, he starts the speech and there's no one stopping him.

He learned a few catalan phrases while living in a refuggee's camp. He happened to meet so many catalan volunteers and one of these, Guillem, was who he borrowed for the first time a camera from. He got so addicted he could be entertained during that agonizing and futureless day to day. He would capture every detail. At first, judgementless, but little by little he started to learn how to frame, how to look for that instant or successfully focus what he was interested in so that picture could be harbour strength.

Guillem was also a photographer, and at some noons they both would sit into a dark corner and watch and talk about the results. Guillem would provide with ideas and advices in a very simple english because that 13 year-old Ziad who would have barely made it to school (the war, the neverending escape...) could understand. Ziad would listen, hungry for knowledge, and dream of an actual tomorrow. "From that, to this", he determines, having Guillem at the end of the room, with his eyes all in tears with thrill, all dreamy because this actual today is nothing but fantasy.

Because the actual reality is not that, and Ziad is still 13 and remains stuck in one of this awful refugees camp Greece is full with. He stays there with part of his family, after having to escape from Siria, after walking miles and miles without looking back, after crossing the sea in a shitty boat, after the hatred. And after the after Greece happens to appear. And he was so about to cross the border and got into the Europe he would dream of (we would dream of). And it's been quite a long time since he sleeping within an actual hangar, fed of the hospital catering, shitting, peeing and showering within a polyclinic. And he hardly kills the time with his friends: Nour, Ahmed, Doulovan, Mohamed... And sometimes he finds Guillem and his camera. And he takes pictures, lots of them, stuck within this hole betwen borders where he has been condemned to, impregnable walls, forgotten humans, forgotten human kind.

 

Text
Roc Casagran

Illustrations
Marta Bellvehí