Dr Greg Constantine

ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2018-19

Dr Greg Constantine

ISRF Independent Scholar Fellow 2018-19

ISRF Greg Constantine

Greg Constantine is an American/Canadian documentary photographer based in SE Asia and the United States. He has dedicated his career to long-term, independent projects about underreported or neglected global stories. His work explores the intersection of human rights, inequality, injustice, identity, belonging and the power of the state. He spent over a decade working on the project Nowhere People, which documented the lives and struggles of stateless communities in nineteen countries around the world.

He is the author of three books including: Kenya’s Nubians: Then & Now (2011), Exiled To Nowhere: Burma’s Rohingya (2012) – which was named a 2012 Notable Photo Book of the year by Photo District News Magazine (US) and the Independent on Sunday(UK) – and the book Nowhere People(2015), which was recognized as one of the Top Ten Photo Books of 2015 by Mother Jones Magazine in the US.

Exhibitions of his work have been shown in over 40 cities worldwide including: Palais des Nations in Geneva, European Parliament in Brussels, Saatchi Gallery in London, Customs House in Sydney, Kenya National Museum in Nairobi, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and US Senate Rotunda in Washington DC and at the UN Headquarters in NYC.  Exhibitions have also been shown in Budapest, Kiev, Rome, Madrid, Perpignan, Bangkok, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Tokyo, Phnom Penh and Yangon. In 2014, his work was exhibited at the Peace Palace in The Hague during the 1st Global Forum on Statelessness.

In late 2016, he earned his Ph.D. from Middlesex University in the UK. He was a 2015 Distinguished Visiting Fellow with the International State Crime Initiative at Queen Mary University of London and a 2017 Artist in Residence of Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada.

Since early 2006, he has been documenting the persecution of the stateless Rohingya community from Myanmar (Burma). Constantine will use his ISRF Fellowship to build on a successful track record of previous research and practical field experience in Burma and neighbouring Bangladesh from 2006 to 2017.  The research will take an interdisciplinary approach and will develop along a number of lines, interweaving the thematic strands of genocide, ‘slow violence’, visual storytelling, statelessness, forced displacement and health destruction. The project and research aims to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex roots, dynamics and diverse experiences of atrocities related to displacement, deprivation of nationality and the destruction of access to healthcare as contributors to the genocidal process toward the Rohingya community in Myanmar.

A Visual Archaeology of Genocide and Slow Violence in Myanmar

This project seeks to contribute to a deeper understanding of the complex roots, dynamics and diverse experiences of forced displacement, deprivation of nationality and the destruction of access to healthcare as contributor to the genocide of the Rohingya community in Myanmar. The research will develop along a number of lines, interweaving the thematic strands of genocide, ‘slow violence’, visual storytelling, statelessness, trajectories of forced displacement and health destruction.

A deeper understanding of the specific nature and roots of forced displacement, statelessness and the destruction of access to healthcare for the Rohingya community in Myanmar is vital to the development of effective policy solutions. Yet, such solutions have been elusive. The proposed research builds on a successful track record of previous research and practical field experience in Burma and neighbouring Bangladesh from 2006 to 2016.

‘Archaeology’ connotes excavation. The sense in which I understand this visual excavation as a novel representational and narrative form that intellectually and experientially brings to life – in a way that the written word cannot – the effects of chronic displacement and insecurity on individuals, families and communities, in particular the ‘slow violence’ it inflicts. The construction of this ‘visual archaeology’ not only shows the physicality of genocide, it also has the capacity to expose, through the collection of visual records, a legacy of societal destruction which is so often unseen, unrecognised, and unreported by the international community and global news media due to its less viscerally violent character.

Contacting Fellows

If you would like to contact any of our Fellows to discuss their ISRF-funded work, please contact Dr Lars Cornelissen (Academic Editor) in the first instance, at lars.cornelissen@isrf.org.