March 4, 2016 Olof Jarlbro

“A book about people, not about refugees..” Review of Refuge

In Czech Newspaper Pravo and Novinky by Jan Šída.

A book about people, not about refugees.

The book of Swedish photographer Olof Jarlbro, called Refuge, deals with the issue of people who escape from misery, poverty and war. All images are black and white because its display a form that are expressive and raw. It is important for capturing atmosphere.

Refuge word can be translated as a refuge or shelter. The first chapter Shattered homes in Syria (Shattered homes in Syria) shows the devastated streets of the city, people who stumble among the rubble, and the ubiquitous guns. But it is just a visual prelude to another material.
Above each image, although it raises the specter of death, but runs parallel to ordinary life. Before bombed the house of a man standing with a Kalashnikov in one hand while the other offers something to eat for passing cat. On another picture posing cocooned Free Syrian Army fighter determinedly holding an automatic rifle AK-47 and looking to somewhere through the photographer behind the event horizon.
The second chapter consists of reportage images of the Bulgarian refugee camps, in which dwells Syrian refugees. Although we cannot see them with any weapons or devastated homes, their oppressive atmosphere. They capture the devastated human lives, using the most ordinary objects. Shopping bag with food hanging on the bars open window, laundry hanging on a clothesline in a desperately barren room or unmade beds have devastating symbolism. And everywhere they reside above all human beings, then to migrants or refugees.
Jarlbro is observant photographer, has an eye for detail and expressive shortcut. He understands the appeal of symbols can evoke in the viewer a lot more emotion than superficially with horror depicted on directives. People are probably already fed up with the world’s disasters, they see every night on television and melts them (maybe) latent allegory.  Jan Šída.

A book about people, not about refugees

For full Czech version visit  Here

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