Alexia Webster sets up temporary mobile portrait studios in the streets of refugee camps around the world, where she offers families uprooted by violence the chance to reclaim their heritage, dignity, and sense of belonging through professional photographs: “Whether in war or security, poverty or wealth, a family photograph is a precious object. It affirms our identity and worth, and our place in humanity,” Webster explains. Using a portable printer on-site, the artist makes a print for each sitter, thus restoring an important possession that most were forced to leave behind when they fled. The vibrant patterns and colors in her subjects’ clothing and the studio backdrop enliven otherwise stark and somber settings — both the camps where the sitters live in limbo and the long-vacant exhibition space where the photographs now reside — and they hint at the indomitable spirit that shines behind each pair of eyes.
- Installation Views
A graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York City, Johannesburg-born Alexia Webster is an award-winning photojournalist with an eye for uncovering humanity even in inhumane circumstances. Her recent work highlights the plights of individuals who live in refugee camps around the world after fleeing violence in their home countries. Her photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Le Monde, the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, and others.