In 2015–2016, Europe experienced an influx of immigrants and refugees: every day some 40 000 immigrants crossed the European borders. The situation was historically exceptional and caused confusion and even chaos. However, the situation in Europe was only one example of people seeking shelter or better lives from other countries. As we speak, uncontrollable immigration takes place in every corner of the Earth.
Connected to migration, a high number of countries are making extreme decisions in reacting to unorganized border crossings. Thousands of kilometres of fences and walls are built to prevent so-called illegal, or if you wish, unwanted immigration. Thousands more are planned to be constructed.
In Wall Tourist, the Finnish photographer Harri Pälviranta reflects these developments with photographic means. During the years 2016-2021 Pälviranta travelled to twelve different countries on five different continents to photograph the border lines. Instead of following the principles of traditional landscape and aftermath photography, the story is told through the eyes of an urban man whose joy is to travel to specific borders around the world. The protagonist is a conflict tourist of our times: he uses his privileged position as a middle class Western white man to experience the situations and places beyond his normal daily life. He seeks bodily knowledge, and perhaps also excitement.
Silk screened hard cover with coloured edges
21 x 27 cm
39 photographs and texts by Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger, Alexandra Athanasiadou and Harri Pälviranta.
Released July 5th 2022 in Rencontres d'Arles