Hadi Mohseni in conversation with Körper Magazine
interview 26 of October 2020
Hadi is an Afghan refugee living in Iran who spends his time in reporting and sharing the lives of thousand refugees as him, living an outsider life cause of the war. We all know this is a really tough situation but, still, we keep looking on other sides; that’s what Hadi wants to change with his job…
[Afghanistan is a country which is being the heart of conflicts for the last decades (politics, warlikes and natural disasters): The Afghan wars from 1978 till nowadays; The Afghan Civil War; and The Talibans Dominance. All of this disputes, in terms of politics and power, have developed a huge migratory crisis where the citizens are forzed to flee from their homes cause of the continuous periods of violence, instability and insecurity of their own country].
KM (KörperMagazine): Could you please tell us how/when started your migration? How is the feeling of moving from your own home to another place with mostly nothing…? How was your life before moving on? Can’t imagine how hard it is and the strenght you had to manage on your own.
HM (Hadi Mohseni): Yes, I am an Afghan Refugee living in Iran.
My Parents decided to immigrate about 28years ago to Iran with many other families, I cannot say about this feeling but for my parents that told to me about that time:
Its very hard to leave your hometown and a life which you made it by yourself ,your family is the hardest part of immigration.
as my father says, "War, no Safety and no work that's the reason why we migrate".
Nevertheless inside the families always shine kindness and happines at every time.
KM: How is to be a refugee in a foreign country? Despite Iran and Pakistan are doing an good job, could you please explain it a bit more (access to education, jobs, etc)? What about the differences (in terms of living conditions) from being a refugee legally registered or being illegal?
HM: Living as a refugee in other countries are along quite sadness, stresses and worries about so many circumstances like registering or no, the education for your children, work for earning money and sometimes you have to face with primary problems like car license or more of these kind of things, and all of that just due for being a refugee.
The life is hard in the normal legal refugee condition, but it's terrible for those who are illegal.
KM: How do the governments manage to become legal to ones or illegal to others?
HM: It's a long story, for example there are about 3 million Afghan refugees here in Iran and the chance to get legal was for those who came in 20 years ago,
this is for people who immigrate to Iran but there's a different situation for the University students, people with Visas, etc.
KM: Where do you live, Is there any place adapted to you? How is your daily life? And what about the resources all of you take for living ( we mean acces for the basics, food, water, etc)?
HM: I live in the capital, Tehran, I live with my parents in a renting house.
Everything is like other refugees but it depends on everybody deligence despite all refugees problems.
Look, everything is like Iranian citizens but in a different scale of quality standards, also there are refugees going through in a really sad and hard situation and there are a lot of refugees making it harder than normal citizens.
KM: How do the locals (Iranians, pakistanis...) welcome all of you refugees? We assume in a good way, or that is how it should be done.
HM: unfortunately its not how it must be, after decades living here the society did not accept the refugees as a part of the time, part of the history; of course there is still kindness somewhere.
KM: Now talking about the photographic task you are managing...Which is the purpose of your photographic work? Do you have (or thinking in) a plan for helping the cause in any way? May add you’re doing an outstading job, thanks for such a great task, seriously, it needs to be known for everybody.
HM: Being A refugee in the society and similar past, story and circumstances is my concern as a refugee photographer, so I try to be in other refugee's lives.
Except collecting clothes and some other properties by many people for the Pakistanis refugees children in many years, nothing special, but a small period teaching photography to Afghan refugees by an organization.
KM: Did you learn photography by your own? You actually take high quality photos. What do the refugee’s community think about you and about what you do?
HM: Mostly learned by classes and workshops, sometimes the refugees I take their photos, welcome me as a refugee and doing what i am doing make them happy to show their lifes and work situation also as a refugee photographer.
KM: What do you think about how the rest of the world face the problem of the migration crisis? (most of the countries just look to the other way, which is quite sad...)
HM: Still we have war, and worse than that political division in govenments, so it make disorder in all the system, so the migration is continuous.
Maybe the countries think in letting the refugees live the life they have forced but it's far away from Humanity.
KM:This year seemed USA and The Talibans were down for finally signing the peace. Do yo feel optimistic about being back home soon? How do you see the future?
HM: Unfortunately the name of the country is Afghanistan but the peace project is going to be sign by USA and The Taliban, I just hope bring peace for those people who have been living in bad situations for many decades, however it's all about politics presentation.
KM: On the other side, what do you think about the situation of Lesvos refugees?
HM: I dream one day be there among the refugees and hear their story and make photo of them.
Also heard really bad news about how hard is situation out there.
KM: It is been quite hard for us to do this interview, please if you want to say anything else to us and to the world, this is your moment. Again thank you so much for your time, as much people as we can reach with this interview and what of you guys are facing might be better for everyone.
HM: I wish I could make difference for refugees lives by photography, although it needs more time than i have; and I try to listen their stories and share with the rest of the world, however itis a small work than their kindness.
- HADI MOHSENI -