‘This takes place on the other side of the Mediterranean Sea, but it could equally happen here. We are in Tangier, a place of departures, a border town between the North and the South of the world. The border serves those who pass through it looking to cross the Strait and reach Europe, as well as those returning home to find their loved ones. Both groups no longer feel at home, neither here in their home country, nor in the cities, towns or suburbs where they reside on the other side of the sea. Both places foster the same feeling of alienation, marginalisation, a deep and insatiable wound: the loss of a country.
I’m standing on a vacant lot near the medina, my gaze looks over the harbour. The free zone no longer belongs to the city, it is already elsewhere: a ‘here’ that is already ‘over there’. Places and cultures merge. There is no evidence to suggest that we are in North Africa. The pier, the panels, the ground littered with detritus, the solitary human presence could be found in any Southern European port: Marseille, Genoa, Patras, Brindisi…
Individuals- men, women and children- go to the docks, to the pier, to the customs offices. Others cross the sea, simply heading in the direction of the other side of the coast, beyond the breakwater. As well as this, some even stop in this no man’s land, windswept and bathed by the sun. A constant undercurrent of secrets and unexpected rendezvous. The shadows gradually spread out as the sun lazily sets upon the Western world. Below is the sky, an unchanging hunting ground for clouds.
The photographic eye searches and captures this wandering, this loneliness, this dazzling light…
The field of cameras and photography has been transformed by surveillance cameras, leading to the eventual loss of human identity. Instead people become pawns on the world’s great chessboard, mere ‘presences’ without history, destined to oblivion.
As is the fate of exiles, whose way back is never-ending.’
– Marco Barbon
Marco Barbon was born in Rome in 1972, and now lives and works in Paris and Marseille
Poursuite is a French publisher based in Paris, focused on contemporary photography.