Counterpoints Arts
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18th February 2019

Nathaniel White introduces his new exhibition that is available for venues, including during Refugee Week.

Most of those who die in settled societies have some form of grave, marker, headstone or memorial. We continue to remember the dead in part by having them occupy physical space. Physical reminders of the dead confront us almost every day, from the parish cemetery to the cenotaph. However, those who die during migration are rarely afforded a physical presence after death, and if they are it is often an impersonal or shared memorial.

Routes is a project that seeks to build a photographic documentary of the lives lost and missing on European migration routes. Using data accumulated by the International Organisation for Migration, which I have then researched and expanded, I have created a record of the 16,275 fatal incidents that occurred between 1st January 2014 and 1st October 2018 along 3 of Europe’s major migration routes: the Central Mediterranean, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Calais – U.K routes. The aim of Routes was to return some form of physical presence to the missing and the dead. It is both an individual and a collective act of bearing witness to a tragedy we largely choose not to see.

The work itself consists of large-scale collages made up of satellite images of the location where a person died or went missing. The collages are separated by migration route and organised in chronological order, the photo on the top left of the collage being the first death along that route and the bottom right image being the last. Images are repeated when there are multiple deaths in one incident. If a single image is repeated fifty times, this means the location was the site of an incident in which fifty people died or went missing. Each individual image represents an individual person. The collages are already printed. There is a book that contains the captions for every incident on every collage.

Central Mediterranean: 14,636 images, 0.9 x 5.5 m, Xerox page-wide print, 2-sided banner.

Eastern Mediterranean: 1,556 images, 0.6 x 3m, Xerox page-wide print, 2-sided banner.

Calais – U.K.: 83 images, 0.3 x 1.5 m, Xerox page-wide print, 2-sided banner.

The work has previously been exhibited at my MA graduation show with the prints hung from flagpoles perpendicular to the wall. However, they are reasonably flexible and could be suspended from a trapeze or wires depending on the space.

Costs and budget are negotiable. Due to the work being already printed, the costs associated with exhibiting this work are potentially minimal, limited to transportation costs and any small installation costs. However, this is dependent on use of the existing prints which were printed on a budget and have been exhibited before and therefore show some signs of wear such as minor dog-earing and creasing. I am happy to arrange for new and/or higher quality prints to be made and happy to negotiate that if it is desired.

If interested, please email me at:

Please see below a few pictures of the work in installation.