Hate Hurts by Cinzia d’Ambrosi
Hate Hurts is a documentary photographic project that addresses the unrecognised and most often ignored issue of racism and its forms of abuse towards refugees. I began this long term project in Greece highlighting refugees stories of unsolicited stop and search from the police, maltreatment, physical, verbal and psychological attacks. Victims, predominantly refugees of African origins, have shared horrific tales of violence and episodes of discrimination.
Yet, these crimes often go unreported because of the victims’ vulnerability and mistrust in law enforcement. Even more, the same very people meant to protect them are often among those exercising their power to inflict violence and unlawful restraints. A great number have confided of being randomly taken to custody and just kept in for hours before being released or being put in detention centres over and over. It seems that after fleeing from conflicts, turmoil, drought, food scarcity and ISS, in Europe are facing a darker fight: racism. The scale and the repercussion are still under-reported, while unscrupulous media reporting and the use of these for political gain have created further misery for refugees and migrants. Portrayed as job snatchers, invaders and terrorists, they are systematically kept away from a normal life in a web of impenetrable bureaucracy, prejudice and racism, part of a large mechanism of control.
‘Hate Hurts’ exposes the negative impact of hate crimes in the lives of refugees and migrants in Europe drawing attention to the dangers of far right thinking as increasingly our societies are manipulated, oppressed and changed to the extend that violence is normalised. By exposing these crimes, whether silent of viciously marked on the bodies of the victims, I am hoping to raise awareness of their harmful impact on the individual and to societies as a whole.