The Bronx Documentary Center is pleased to present Refugee Hotel, an exhibtion of photographs by Gabriele Stabile. In more than sixty photographs, the exhibition chronicles refugees during their first night in the United States and their lives in resettlement. This is Stabile’s first one-person exhibition in New York City.
A refugee is defined as a person who has crossed a border to escape persecution based religion, political opinion, sexual or ethnic identities. Hundreds of refugees are placed in New York City each year, and of those more than 90% are resettled in the Bronx. For six years Stabile worked in coordination with the International Organization for Migration and other resettlement organizations around the country to photograph refugees from Cuba, Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East as they set foot on American soil. Customarily, their first nights are spent at a string of airport hotels in major US metropolises. Stabile writes, “ The first night in America is for all of them the start of a new life with new possibilities, but also another fatal, definitive step away from home.” He continues, “It is a moment on the cusp between two uncertainties, a past of displacement and an unknown future…a seemingly unassuming night they will remember for the rest of their lives alongside the fireproof carpet, the standardized furniture, and the floral bed cover.”
Stabile also captures his subjects’ as they adjust to small-town life in Fargo, North Dakota; Charlottesville, Virginia; Erie, Pennsylvania; Amarillo, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma. Resettlers face the practical and existential challenges of earning a living wage, adjusting to new communities, learning a foreign language, adopting or rejecting new cultural attitudes, and sorting through memories and traumas of the past.
Join us for the opening reception on Friday, September 27, from 6:30 to 9PM.
Refugee Hotel will be on view from September 28 - December 1, 2013.