The Time Between

Ioana Moldovan

Riman was seated in a crowded and low-lit container, with loose clothes on, so you could not tell—but she was five months pregnant. Two weeks earlier Riman had left her home town of Homs, in Syria, because of the bombs.

The first part of this project by Romanian photographer Ioana Moldovan comprises photojournalism conducted between 2013 and 2016. It follows the refugees’ struggle for a safer life. The originally planned second part of the exhibition would have followed the present integration struggles of refugees living in social housing in Germany. Owing to the COVID-19 crisis, it could not take place. Instead, the artist rented a motorhome and travelled around Romania to document how people’s lives are being restricted by the pandemic. ‘It felt unnatural, doing documentary photography without getting close to people.’

The two themes are only apparently unrelated, as in fact they both allow reflection on the limitation of the freedom of movement, on the meaning of borders, and on people’s capacity to adapt and change even when unable to plan their future.