June 22, 2024

Xposure 2022: ‘Ray of Hope’ shines a light for those forced to flee their homes

 Xposure 2022: ‘Ray of Hope’ shines a light for those forced to flee their homes

Sharjah, 12 February  2022

Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Muhammed Muheisen’s image titled ‘Ray of Hope’ is an evocative portrayal of the plight of vulnerable populations fleeing countries ravaged by war.

The shaft of light that streams through in the image and the fires that provided warmth in sub-zero temperatures is symbolic of the “ray of hope” that people harbour when they leave behind their homes and journey to an unknown, faraway land in search of safety, said Muheisen, who is currently exhibiting at the sixth edition of the Xposure International Photography Festival at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Shot in the Serbian capital of Belgrade in January 2017 at the height of the European migrant crisis, the image captures marginalised communities including unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other countries.

“They took refuge in abandoned warehouses. In minus 20 degrees, they showered in cold water; slept on the ground; and inhaled the toxic smoke of the fires,” explains Muheisen.

“Nobody leaves their home unless they are forced to – only when the life they have is taken away from them. This light in the image signals hope – hope for a better future, better tomorrow,” he added.