Photographing the photos of Rahmat Ahmadi

Connecting stories and memories through photographs

The connection I felt with the photographs of Rahmat Ahmadi made me curious to discuss with him at the art exhibition entitled «Living in-between» that took place in the framework of Refugee Week Greece at T.A.F./ The Art Foundation.

Rahmat Ahmadi: My name is Rahmat I have been living here in Greece since May 2007 for 16 years now. As you can see, I say that I do photography…

Siddik: My name is Siddik, I am from Bangladesh, I am a minor and I am also a refugee… I am trying to learn photography. When I look at your pictures, something connects me with them because they are about a refugee’s life. When I lived in Turkey, I faced the same problem you are showing through your photographs. We had limited food in the fridge and sometimes when the rain was falling, we had wet walls. So that’s why I am curious to know more about these pictures.

Rahmat Ahmadi: First of all, I liked very much the way you explained it to me. That each photo reminds you of a memory. Actually, that’s what I faced too. That’s my daily life that you see in my photographs. Nothing more, nothing less. I photograph what I see around me, the place where I live and the people I encounter. And these photographs are just the depiction of my daily life. You are right, every photo reminds me of something, a memory.

When I would take the photographs, it wasn’t on purpose. I didn’t have the intention to keep this image with me. But because of this exhibition, I gathered these photos, and you can find my life somehow by seeing them. And these photographs remind you of something, just as they remind me of something. That is a part of my life.

Siddik: This is the true life of a refugee. You can see that this picture with the wet wall is actually true. Because when you are a refugee, you can’t afford a good house. Sometimes we rent a bad house because it is cheap and a lot of people live together, like more than 10. Sometimes 5, 6 or 7. Depending on the available space in our house. That’s why I wanted to share with you my opinion about these pictures. This is the real life of refugees, that’s why I like these pictures.

Rahmat Ahmadi: I guess it’s easy after all to understand each other. We happen to be refugees. Each person could have had a common path with other people in this way or another and there could be a mutual understanding between them. What you say is very understandable and not only for refugees but for every weak person within society. The materials of life are common. You are right.

Photographs have no language to speak. Each person looking at the photograph will understand a meaning, will find something, a narrative about themselves by looking at the photograph. I may see a story through a photograph, and you may see a different story from mine. Each one, no matter who they are, automatically sees a story about themselves.

Abu Baker Siddik

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