Tamara Shogaolu

‘I call Amsterdam my home, but to what extent can a place really feel like home if you sense that whether you belong is dependent on your ethnicity?’

Queer in a Time of Forced Migration (2020)

Questions, images, and impressions that Tamara Shogaolu has encountered  around the refugee crisis in Europe, and here in Amsterdam, led her to develop the Queer in a Time of Forced Migration series and inspired her to delve deeper into the exploration of the true meaning of ‘home’. Shogaolu: ‘Sharing stories like those at the core of the series, in innovative and engaging ways, is of the utmost urgency today. Politically and in the media, we hear so much the rhetoric of “us” versus “them,” but because of technology, our world actually has the potential to be much more “we” than ever before.’

She continued to follow the people whose lives are at the core of the series and their search for refuge in the Netherlands, Germany, and Norway. She wanted to find out if they were able to make a home elsewhere and what that meant within the context of someone being forced out of the home assigned to them by birth. Tamara Shogaolu hopes that her work can prompt a productive discussion about identity and promote inclusivity and diversity in what it means to be an ‘Amsterdammer’, and by allowing Amsterdammers of all colours, genders, sexual orientations, and cultural as well as socio-economic backgrounds to see themselves represented. 

In Refresh Amsterdam, the three completed  parts of Tamara Shogaolu’s project Queer  in a Time of Forced Migration are presented  together for the first time. The first instalment of the series, Half a Life, is a film. The  second, Another Dream, is a virtual reality experience, while the third, They Call me Asylum Seeker, is both a sound installation and an interactive online platform.

Tamara Shogaolu

Tamara Shogaolu (USA, 1986) is an award winning international director and new media artist. As the creative director of Ado Ato Pictures, she has an innovative approach to storytelling. As an artist, she is inspired by the stories that make up our world, particularly about those who are marginalised, and aims to give them a voice and platform through her work. Her films, in particular, address migration to Europe and portray the stories of queer refugees. Some of these individuals are now in Amsterdam, and have stayed in touch with Shogaolu for almost a decade. 

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Trailer HALF a LIFE

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