Thana Faroq (b. 1989, Yemen; lives in the Netherlands) is a documentary photographer and storyteller. In 2016, Faroq was awarded a Break the Silence scholarship to pursue her MA in documentary photography and photojournalism at the University of Westminster in London. Her work consists of personal reportage addressing themes of memory, boundaries, and violence. She focuses on collaborative storytelling projects to tell personal anecdotes of displacement and migration.
Previously, Faroq worked with various international NGOs in Yemen on stories about displaced women and children. Her work has been featured by several media outlets, including Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Huffington Post, and World Press Photo’s Witness.
We live in a world divided by borders and walls where something as ephemeral as a piece of paper, a document, or a passport can acquire the potency of a curse that feels like it cannot be broken. Struggling to claim basic rights like self-determination and freedom of movement, refugees come to experience the passport not as a symbol of identity and pride, but as a source of angst.
With this project, I turn my camera on my own story, to create personal reportage depicting themes of displacement, asylum, and integration.
Calling on my own experience, I reflect on notions of freedom and the struggle to leave a country where violence, war, and aggression are prevalent. Through portraits, images of daily life, personal reflections, and handwritten testimonies, I aim to capture the hopes, fears, dreams, and isolation felt by refugees who have fled to the Netherlands and the United Kingdom and show the unpredictable, transitory, and restricted nature of our lives.
—Thana Faroq, September 2018