A New Beginning is a project by photographer Cigdem Yuksel about young people who, after their flight to the Netherlands, search for their (new) identity. Who were they before their flight, who they have become and what do they want to be? The young people express themselves through tattoos, poems, rap or Instagram posts. They look cool and tough, but they are also fragile.
Together with Cigdem, these young people have been looking for a way to tell their story. To find the right images to tell their story, Cigdem asked the young people what feeling, image, shape and colors they envision when they think back to certain events during their journey, when they think about their fears, nightmares, the parents. How would they portray that themselves? But she also looks at their vision of the future. How do they see themselves in the future? What do they draw strength and pleasure from? Cigdem features the answers in the photos.
A New Beginning is part of the transmedia project Shadow Game, a project by Eefje Blankevoort and Els van Driel, made in close collaboration with journalist, researcher and translator Zuhoor al Qaisi. The project consists of a feature length documentary (90 min) premiering on Movies that Matter, a series of short follow-up documentaries (30 min) including Durrab’s Labyrinth, an impact campaign, and an adventure game.
In the photo: Mo (22) likes the color pink. In Syria he was not allowed to wear that color, it was for girls. When he came to the Netherlands as an adolescent without parents, he felt liberated. “In Syria I couldn’t be who I wanted, I had to be what others wanted me to be.” Mo studies at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. Photo: Cigdem Yuksel. Text: Eefje Blankevoort.