A Camp is a Wall in a Forest

A camp is a place where mohajers live in a state of waiting. Mohajers are asylum seekers, refugees, and other migrants in precarious situations and their camps are reception centers, detention centers, and temporary shelters. Camps are often located in remote areas, effectively isolating the individuals living in them. They are facilities for storing humans, full of invisible walls, and windows to remind people that the world they can see through them is out of their reach.

Anna Knappe & Amir Jan

Anna Knappe (b. Helsinki, Finland) and Amir Jan (b. Ghazni, Afghanistan) have been working as an artist duo since 2010, producing cinematic works, media installations and photographic works dealing with the various aspects of global migration from different perspectives including both humans and other living species. They collaborate closely with the Afghan diaspora communities in Europe, aiming to empower the migrant minority communities to narrate their own collective stories instead of being the actors or subjects in the narratives created by and for the purpose of the majority groups. Their work analyses how words and language form the ‘Mohajer’ identity of Afghan migrants, never-ending migrancy, life in camps, and stories of home by people without a home country. Anna Knappe and Amir Jan are currently collaborating in a multidisciplinary project combining sociological and anthropological perspectives with art. The research project, titled “Neighbourhood Solidarities as a Response to the Asylum ‘Crisis’”, is situated in Sociology at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki.