In Custody - Maria Backman och Hanna Sjöberg
March - October 2020
During World War II, neutral Sweden served as an uncertain waiting room for nearly two hundred thousand refugees from the war in Europe. The country was surrounded by warring countries and the Swedish government tried to maintain a balance act, in order to stay out of the war. It was relatively rare that people who had fled to Sweden were deported. The refugee camps indicated two things, on the one hand the right to asylum, which already existed through the 1937 Aliens Act and which was actually upheld and on the other hand, on the state's nervousness towards the refugees. It was about giving protection to those who came but also to protect against the risks to the security of the kingdom.
In this wobbly situation, a space was opened up for both a positive reception but also suspicion. In addition, there were German-friendly actors within the Swedish police and the military. It was this reality that the refugee was confronted with.
The refugee camps around the country became intersection points where the foreign met the local - the traces of these events lie in people's memories, in the archives and in the actual places of these camps. This is part of our Swedish history, a contemporary cultural heritage that can be read in several ways. The traces of the camps in the landscape are also traces of the authorities’ attempts to control people they did not trust in an uncertain time. The project In Custody is two artists' exploratory meeting with these sites. The traces are mostly gone but we know that something has happened where there are now seventy-year-old, logging mature pines and firs.
Mahmoud Dayoub and Diana Jabi - Waiting, installment no II
October 2019 - February 2020
A new exhibition with two Syrian artists. Mahmoud Dayoub and Diana Jabi. They have fled the war in Syria and ended up in different parts of the world, yet their migrant journeys are not over. This is reflected in their art. The works we show continues the investigation of the theme, and existential condition, of waiting, that more and more people are forced to deal with today. The first exhibition on this theme was the drawings by Syrian artist Muhammad Ali - I am just a number. Now we continue to inerrogate with this artists what it means for the subject to be robbed of that essential aspect of the self, the control and ownership and negotiation with one´s time.
Me and The Train - Mahmoud Dayoub
Ink on Paper/2015
Mahmoud Dayoub (Moved to Sharjah, UAE) obtained a B.A in painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University, in 2005. He has exhibited his work in the Netherlands, Sweden, France and other countries around the world. He is a multidisciplinary artist with a special focus on humanity and his approach to art-making spans across video, installations, painting, and drawing.
Diana Jabi - March 15, 2011
Ongoing work Crochet/2011
Diana Jabi ( moved to Romania for an unclear period)
She obtained a B.A in Engraving and Graphic Arts from the Fine Art Faculty in Damascus in 2004. In 2012, she gained an MA in Produccións Artistiques i Recerca from the facultat de Belles Arts, universitat de Barcelona (UB). She has exhibited her work in different countries around the world as Barcelona, France, Sweden, Italy, Finland and others.
I am just a number - Muhammad Ali, Drawings.
February 7th - August 30th 2019
During the Spring 2019 Lobby will show two exhibitions that address waiting. Waiting that war entails and the waiting which the asylumprocess forces upon people. This is the result of a collaboration with the curator Abir Boukhari, who came to Sweden from Damaskus, Syria in 2015.
The first exhibition - ”I am Just a Number”- shows drawings by Muhammad Ali. It is an attempt to grapple with the number that was written on his arm upon arrival on Samos on his way to Sweden. This number can seem like a ticket to a queue and thus as representing a kind of order after the chaos of war. But it is just as much a symbol of the disorder of the asylum process in Europe for those that are forced to endure it.
Paula Urbano and Behnam Sadighi
25 May - 15 October, 2018
The Refugee of the Sorrowful Figure
Paula Urbano met a man that applied for asylum, but got deported from Sweden. The film takes form during the year she followed him from Flen, Eskilstuna, Baghdad and Teheran. In her artistic practice Urbano explores existential uncertainty. A condition that arises when fundamental existential components are subject to uncalculated ruptures, are questioned or changed more or less drastically, more or less violently. In this case for the asylum seeking man: after deportation to Irak an unsafe country in war. With references to Don Quijote a meeting takes form that also concerns the task of the Artist. The viewer him/herself has to navigate through possible stories and is maybe confronted with his/her own prejudices along the way.
The Last Day
2010-2017 (work in progress) 80X100 cm - C-print - Unframed
This ongoing series looks at the immigration of Iranian youths to distant countries, aspiring to find a better situation and lead a successful life.
They leave their own country, not to experience new things, but as a form of evacuation, like those who are flood-stricken and forced to seek refuge in a foreign land. This is a daily experience, visiting young students who are trying desperately to leave their country; some wishing to pursue their educational goals and others seeking permanent residency abroad. This project presents their last portraits, taken before theyleave their motherland, as a memory for them to hold, of a land that they may never see again.
This exhibition has been curated by Erik Berggren and produced together with a fantastic group of students from the Program of Ethnic and Migration Studies. Thanks to Esther, Samina, Joachim, Mischa, Gabriella, Chrissy, Mansi. Also thanks to Glenn Dahlberg at LiU-service for all your help.
Movements - on migration and solidarity
3 November 2017 - 15 April 2018
This is an exhibition about movements. The movements of refugees, thats is a starting point, but here the focus lies on movements of engagement, knowledge and solidarity.
The photos taken by Renzo Arcuri, Celina Ortega Soto and Nedžad Mešić, exist because of their physical movement and their solidarity with refugees in camps in Greece. Nedzads photos also captures the formation of a movement, an embryo to a union organisation among informal migrant workers in Northern Sweden - berry pickers.
Foto: Renzo Arcuri