Américo dos Santos Hunguana

Where to go?

It was a question I asked myself five years ago, while I was walking along Oranienstraße during my first days in Berlin.

As I approached Heinrichplatz, I saw a group of people, most of them from North Africa, protesting for the right to stay in that place. When I got closer, I discovered that they were refugees coming from different places in Africa and the Middle East.

Months later, the same group, and others/more, set up tents in Oranienplatz and remained there for a long time as a form of protest for not having anywhere to stay or anywhere to go.

Through visiting this camp and others in Berlin, I realized that this question of where to go, is a common question in these spaces. In political, religious, religious, tribal, social and climatic matters, the same question always arises – where to go?

Over a period of five years, I documented refugees and asylum seekers living in deplorable conditions in Berlin. I spent time in places such as Oranienplatz, the Gerhart-Hauptmann-Schule, LAGESO, and Teltow where the people negotiated with the authorities for the right to stay, to live as decent citizens.

These pictures tell the story that I witnessed, often in silence, and explore this question of place - belonging nowhere, not having the freedom of movement, and not knowing where to go.