IOM and the photographer Pich Urdaneta invite to the conference: Darien one lens, thousand stories

Cooperation and solidarityCulture and Community
From: September 19, 2020 - 5:00 pm
To: September 19, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Within the framework of #FotoSeptiembre2020, the International Organization for Migrants (IOM) together with the Venezuelan photographer based in Panama Pich Urdaneta have prepared the Conference: Darien one lens, thousand stories; which will be held next Saturday, September 19th at 5:00 p.m. (Panama time), and will be broadcasting via Youtube through the IOM Panama channel.

During the talk, 37 digital photographs will be presented; these are about the objects that accompany the migrants and they decided to keep when they crossed the Darien jungle.

“Photography has the virtue of having a magical connection that unites people, no matter where they come from or where they go. It has the virtue to tell those stories that are not known. It’s very gratifying to know that there are people who share our goal: ensure that Migration is safe, orderly, regular and dignified. This exhibition highlights why, through the objects, the migrants open their hearts and tell us about their dreams and hopes.”, says Santiago Paz, Head of the Global Administrative Center and Chief of Mission of IOM Panama.

The photographs were taken by Urdaneta in February of this year, during a tour to the Migration Reception Stations (ERM) located in Darien and where IOM Works directly with the migrant population that arrives in that area.

 “Since I arrive to Panama, I began to hear about Darien as practically an unknown territory, full of myths, perhaps a historical stain that marked it as a dangerous land. Then, for work reasons I had to go, and I realized that it is a kind of migratory hub where people from unimaginable countries arrive facing what is perhaps one of the most difficult borders of the planet. As a migrant, I was moved by the stories and the faces I saw, the need, the dream they told me; and I decided that on my part I should contribute to make visible these stories that are unknown to the majority of the population, and, in that way, be able to help with my small contribution to improve the conditions of the migrants”, highlights the photographer.

IOM is the main intergovernmental organization in the field of Migration, dedicate to the principle that Migration -in an orderly manner and humane conditions- benefits migrants and the society. As the leading international organization, IOM works in Panama in collaboration with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners to help address the growing challenges posed by operational Migration management, promote understanding of migration issues,  encourage social development and economic through migration, and ensure respect for human dignity and the well-being of migrants.

By her part, Idiam Osorio, IOM’s border specialist say “In order to understand the Migration from its broadest context, it’s important to make known the life stories of migrants who give us the ability to connect through to the human feeling that empathy is. That’s why for IOM Panama it’s particularity  important that we be able to publicize the life stories of the migrants who cross the Darien jungle and what better way than through art, which is a tool that connect us and make us more human, and that, in this particular is a camera the bridge to connect the public with each of the stories of the migrants who arrive to this place on their way to a dream, a better quality of life and greater opportunities and that they do so clinging to memories, hopes and objects that give them strength to continue their way, since the vast majority of them do not have Panama as their final destination, rather, according to the latest IOM studies, it is the northern countries that are in their destination”.

The conference is open for everybody and can be accessed directly through the link

“Photography has become a vital means to communicate stories with social content in that words fall short. Today, thanks to the photography, with only one picture you can change thousands of lives. That is my mission today, to be able to document those stories so they can reach people who have the power to improve those people’s conditions. I can only say that for me it was a very personal and healing experience. Not even in college I learned as much as in the days that I was documenting in Darien”, emphasize Urdaneta.

For more information contact:

Mayteé Zachrisson
Communications and Media Assistant
IOM Panama

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