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At the Tate Modern last night photovoice.org launched the publication of New Londoners Reflections on Home, a book of photographs by 15 young refugees, all separated from their families, who have made London their home. Mentored by professional photographers like Sarah Moon, Jillian Edelstein, Jenny Matthews, Gayle Chong Kwan, and Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg, the project becomes a unique way to see the city through newcomers' eyes as much as an excercise in giving the marginalised a voice. To quote Susan Sontag, "Essentially the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality."

At the Tate Modern last night photovoice.org launched the publication of New Londoners Reflections on Home, a book of photographs by 15 young refugees, all separated from their families, who have made London their home. Mentored by professional photographers like Sarah Moon, Jillian Edelstein, Jenny Matthews, Gayle Chong Kwan, and Oliver Chanarin and Adam Broomberg, the project becomes a unique way to see the city through newcomers' eyes as much as an excercise in giving the marginalised a voice. To quote Susan Sontag, "Essentially the camera makes everyone a tourist in other people's reality."

Several of the photographers spoke passionately about how photography had changed the way they saw and interacted with Britain - and also about how it was changing the way people saw them. Hassan Almousaoy, whose photo is above, put it simply: "Without photography people will not believe me [if I say I see something]. With photography they will understand." Almousaoy came to London from Baghdad in December 2006.

You know what was nice? Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children, Homes and Families, spoke very eloquently about the book, clearly having spent enough time with the photographs to be able to talk intelligently about them. A small irony, perhaps, is that this event should come on the day that Immigration minister Phil Woolas announced that he was going to speed up the process for removing failed asylum seekers. The majority of the photographers have not been granted permission to stay in the UK.

Photo © Hassan Almousaoy/ New Londoners/ Dost/ Photovoice. The caption to the picture reads "My friend had no electricity for three days because the landlord did not pay the bill... This reminded me of Iraq where each day we only had one hour of electricity."

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