The Land Of Non-Belonging

California Museum of Photography

May 18 - September 8, 2019

Exile: The Land of Non-Belonging brings together six artists who visually explore, through photographs and videos, the experience of exile and the desire for identity and belonging. Although these artists cannot be grouped by geography, gender, or age, they each left their native countries, and most now reside in the United States. Coming from Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam, the artists visually narrate their journeys navigating new environments where gender, ethnicity, and sexuality assume different connotations.


The exhibition draws on the words of the French philosopher and political activist Simone Weil, who wrote in 1943 that uprootedness is a universal condition that affects those who have experienced the rift from a place of origin, community, and the past. Exile presents the work of contemporary artists at a time when globalization is prevailing in our lives, and war, famine, and intolerance continue to drive thousands of people out of their homelands.


This exhibition is curated by Camilla Querin, Curatorial Fellow at the California Museum of Photography.

Image: Anh-Thuy Nguyen, Boat Journey series: In Transition, Saragota #2 (detail), 2012. Courtesy of the artist.