Greece | Open See

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By Julien DeBock

In 2003, the Hellenic Cultural Heritage invited twelve Magnum photographers to “share their vision on contemporary Greece” to promote the Olympics. In response, American photographer Jim Goldberg’s “vision” centered on the country’s immigrant population, most of whom live in hiding, without papers and without rights.

Open See, currently on view at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris , is part of Goldberg’s larger project “The New Europeans,” which explores and documents the exodus of refugees, immigrants and victims of human traffic.

Of his focus on this underbelly of our society, Goldberg says, “My work documents the complex ways that people struggle to affirm their dignity and integrity when social circumstances work against them.” Often poignant, the collection includes stunning images where Goldberg actively makes his subject the storyteller by allowing them to write on the photo in their own language—be it Arabic, Ukrainian, Greek, or at times broken English.

The message explicit in Goldberg’s photos is often reflective of the energy, ambition and human will to realize dreams of freedom that are devoid of nationality or social class