I lay my hand on my heart as I bid my only one farewell.
Sam, Arabic (Egypt) 1992 read more
Nothing is better than nothing. What is in the sky is in the ground.
Danon, Bete (Ivory Coast) 2007
As long as there are wild poppies, one must taste life.
Reza, Farsi (Iran) 2007
I need freedom for my art....
Chen (Korean) 1992 read more
Silk cloth, beautiful and good: it covers you when you are cold, it adorns you when you are happy,
it wraps you when you are sorrowful, it shrouds you when you die.
Aline, Malagasy (Madagascar) 2007
Peace, Unity, People, Love.
Hisao, Japanese 1994
For those who are born as a tamale, heaven will provide the leaves.
Alexky, Spanish (Mexico) 1999
You can throw a stick into the river, it will not become a fish. War is not nice.
Fatoumata, Susu (Guinea), 1994 read more
Exile is only interior, we are all exiles. Exile begins when the umbilical cord is cut and you are
separated from your mother.
Amadou, Wolof (Senegal) 1993 read more
Language, culture, and upbringing is determined mostly by human nationality, but language came to me from overseas relatives, I was brought up in a strange environment and culture. Who am I? Latvian exile? That’s that?
Valdis, Latvian 1999
A man with a head has no hat. A man with a hat has no head.
Ayo, Yoruba (Nigeria) 1993 read more
We grew up in a prejudiced environment. The school was there, but not for us, the Amerasians. There’s a division between what they call “true Vietnamese” and us, the “not so Vietnamese.” For we are the enemy’s children. We are the forgotten children of American soldiers and the poor Vietnamese women. The war took away our childhood.
Nguyet, Vietnamese 2000 read more
I believe in God, in the Trinity: God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If I have a sickness in my body, I ask for the help of God, and see that all that the Bible says, it does. I have tried it and see the results of what has happened to me.
Mariano, Wichi-Mataco (Argentina) 1994 read more
We all stand in each other's shadows.
Meredith, Celtic (Ireland) 1992
For everything there is a reason. I am going home tomorrow.
Shelia & Andrew, English/Shona (Zimbabwe) 1994 read more
Grandmother, your reflection lives beauty way.
Chiaz, Dineh (USA) 1999
When she reached for the ceiling, she dropped what was under her arm.
Daniel, Amharic (Ethiopia) 1996
If you don’t look back to where you came from , you’ll never reach your destiny.
Delia, Tagalog (Philippines) 1996
Why is there something and not nothing?
Ellen, German 1995
The Lotus flourishes in water with the sunlight. The lotus out of water fades with the same sun.
Kamala, Telugu (India) 1994
Make good do good, make evil do evil.
Khanya, Thai 1999
You should always wear the flower of love (in your hair) and wherever you go you will receive graciousness from others, wherever you go you will shine with the medicine of loving kindness.
Khin, Burmese 2000
Amazigh yesterday, Amazigh today, Amazigh tomorrow. Amazigh in school.
Larbi, Amazigh (Algeria) 1996
Misandry, Misanthropy, Miscegenation, Missing You.
Laylah, English (USA) 1992
Leaves fallen from a tree, they are they playthings of the wind.
Lazaro, Spanish (Cuba) 1999
The day that you love me.
Leandro, Spanish (Argentina) 1992
We are people of home.
Lionel, Creole (Haiti) 1996
I know how to speak the indigenous Toba language.
Luisa, Toba (Argentina) 1995
The memory of Somalia: Fear of God, fear of Men, fear of Death. But the love of grandma kept me alive, her name was “cotton flower.”
Luna, Somali 2000
Beloved is the land of Wardheer, death is sneaking in its path however.
Mohamed, Somali 1996
I would like to know the meaning of the word “Free.”
Octorina, Wichi-Mataco Argentina 1994
All that I have here, in my head, and here, in my chest, and here in my stomach; that is what I must say.
Osvaldo, Quechua (Argentina) 1994
Even though the presence of your appearance here in this body is for the purpose of all sentient beings, still we wish you to be without illness, to be full of power, and to gather together all the blessings of prosperity.
Phagyab Rinpoche, Tibetan, 2007
See for yourself or you will never really know what is good and bad.
Phumla, Xhosa (South Africa) 1993
(We Meditate on Sri Vishnu) Who is Wearing White Clothes, Who is All-Pervading, Who is Bright in Appearance like the Moon and Who is Having Four Hands.
Shanty, Tamil (India) 1999
Envelop me with your prayer shawl.
Shulamith, Hebrew (Israel) 1992
Our hope, our pride, I’ll die for Bangla.
Tarique Bangla (Bangladesh) 1996
The Exile Project is a series of portraits of people who live in one language but have their hearts in another. The subjects in this series are, for a variety of reasons, existing in a language other than that of their birth. Some are political exiles and refugees, some are indigenous exiles in their own homeland, some are simply immigrants far from home. Each person is asked to consider the basic question: what happens to the mother tongue when it exists, separated or unused, in a state of cultural isolation? The responses form handwritten quotes which are then etched into the image. In this way text and body are juxtaposed to form culturally revealing yet highly personal narratives. The portraits are made with as much simplicity as possible; all are photographed with antique cameras at 1 second shutter speeds, the mechanism of the camera is not used to freeze or capture a "moment," instead, the shutter is held open, and the projection of stillness through space and time flows from the person being photographed. Then, through a process of manipulation, image and text meet in an altered landscape. Through a veil of formal portraiture, The Exile Project presents a collection of faces, ages, texts and calligraphies, all striving to tell a single story, all hoping to give a little more meaning to the vast context of language, loss, and identity.
These images are selections from a much larger body of work. For more information on The Exile Project, please contact the artist.