Migration & Metamorphosis

Through a delicate visual essay, Berlin-based artist Momodou Lamin explores own queerness, vulnerability, and limitations of society’s expectations.

Gentle and soft, yet at the same time strong and sharp as the edge of a knife. The photos that make up “Migration & Metamorphosis” are almost minimalistic, but still tell a tale of thousand words – it is perhaps this simplicity that allows Momodou to capture so many emotions and so much intimacy in one picture; feelings and stories otherwise difficult to explain. The digital project is a net-art visual essay to raise funds for future projects that are aimed towards Momodou’s goal to create more visual stories starring marginalized groups. We highly recommend taking more than a quick glimpse on the photos below, instead, sit back, breathe in and out, and really delve into what you can see, and how you interpret it. Trust us, it is worth it!

“The project is an exploration & analysis of the latent intersection of various themes related to mythology, dreams, migration & climate change.

I consider my works to be my only medium to navigate identity, race & gender expression. As someone who grew up in a strict Muslim family, it is often impossible for me to both express my truth & meet the societal expectations of the people around me. Through my art, I am able to create a space where I can reflect on these issues and forge a new visual language that allows me to express all my idiosyncrasies, vulnerabilities and desires. For me, the process is always about spirituality & my aim is to experience something outside my comfort zone, or the limitations of mind and matter.

I’m very curious about mythology as well and the role that religion plays in shaping the human psyche. I believe our connection to divinity is the very core of our personal identity. When we are denied that connection by religious institutions and cast away from the mainstream, visibility becomes the only way to make ourselves heard.

“Migration & Metamorphosis” is my adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey. The upcoming digital project is a visual essay that will allow visitors to understand how these different ideas are constantly shaping us and our world. My aim is to create many more spaces where Queer + BIPoC + immigrants are invited to share, heal & express themselves while confronting these issues.

We all have roles we must play in society, responsibilities & expectations for ourselves & others. For the past few years, I’ve battled to choose between expressing the divine power bestowed on by the infinite source of creation & keeping the status quo of each connection with the social world. I often choose the latter for fear of being judged, cast out, abused or discriminated against. But this is no longer working for my well being. My body, mind & spirit have all rejected it & I’ve had no choice but to listen. The voice of insecurity in my head slowly became a virus & I noticed how affects my presence & infects each one of my experiences.

I feel deeply sorry that there are still souls walking this Earth who aren’t ready to see themselves reflected in me. I’m sorry that my beauty & genius offends them. I wish I didn’t remind them of how much the world has hurt them & how truly free they are, if they want.

Healing is a personal responsibility each person must navigate on their own. I believe in the power of humanity, community, compassion & love but the real revolution starts within – not out. I am no longer fighting against the dancing dragon in my heart, I’m letting the bitch free. And hopefully, in the process, I create a better world than the one we all inherited from centuries of pain, violence, and war against one another.”

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Momodou Lamin: Website, Instagram
Text: Anna Wim

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