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Video Portraits: Imad Babikir


Excerpt, 2000, duration 5:45 min, original 53:00 min


This video is an excerpt from Video Portraits: Imad Babikir (2000), part of a series of portraits of refugees residing, at the time, at the Asylum Seekers Center in Nijmegen, Netherlands. Starting with the question to describe his own face from memory, the story and personal journey of Imad Babikir is revealed. These portraits came about in response to the media coverage of asylum seekers in the Netherlands at that time. Asylum seekers were depicted as mere criminals, taking over the country. Leenaars wanted to give a more human face and voice to this particular group of people and contacted the asylum in my hometown. Through the center she came in contact with 12 amazingly resilient children and adults. Leenaars began all her conversations for this series of portraits with the question: “Can you describe your own face from memory?” The 12 videos vary in length but all are deeply personal accounts of the person’s individual journey.

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