Romy Eijckmans

When will I be free? (2015 - ...)

When will I be free is an ongoing project focusing on the feelings of isolation for those living in asylum centres in Belgium.

After a long and strenuous journey, newcomers are randomly allocated to refugee centres across the country, usually located in a more rural area. Without a proper network, they will reside here for months, sometimes even years, whilst their applications are being examined.

Living in this non-place, a sort of waiting room for a possible life in this new country, their lives are literally being put on hold. In this way, the uninvited newcomer is forcibly placed in limbo; A transition zone between the past and future, expectations and reality. Between self-reliance and dependency.

To connect these contrasts, the artist creates images by transforming different rooms in the asylum centre into a camera obscura: Literally a dark room, where light is admitted through a single tiny hole, resulting in an inverted image of the outside scene cast on the opposite wall. In this way, the outside world is directly projected into theirs.

The result is a combination of digital images, analogue prints and photograms made inside the camera obcuras, woven together with drawings, short texts and personal imagery given to the artist by refugees residing in asylum centres. Thusly, she is trying to create a narrative arch between them and us; between the past, and the hope for a new future.