Handlebar Mustache

Photography for me is both a sensory aesthetic experience and an experience which is capable of representing abstract ideas. I believe we must work to have progress in every aspect of our lives, and make our way towards social progress. For sure, I make mistakes but in personal journeys of discovery this must surely happen for everyone. Photography is the medium I choose to express myself and use to contribute positively to the world. I passionate about trying to always create work that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but will generate questions too, related to the topics I represent through my photography


I would like to thank Lucky Khambule, Ellie Kisyombe and Kyle Phiri and wish to them every success in their fight for equality in Ireland for all.


Massafelli, W. (2017) A better place, Available at: https://www.curating.photography/wanderley-massafelli (Accessed:___).

Lucky Khambule has been living in Ireland for 10 years and was granted refugee status. Lucky is an activist in proof Asylum-seekers, he has given many interviews around Ireland explaining what it is like to live in Direct Provision. Lucky and many others are fighting for basic human rights such as a decent place to live and the right to provide for their families. Ellie Kisyombe is a very important figure in the migrant rights movement in Ireland. Elli is involved in several movements in favor of asylum-seekers and migrant rights such as Masi-Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland End Direct Provision Dublin. Kyle Phiri is also an active and experienced member of Masi-Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland End Direct Provision Dublin.

In my work, I want to present a broader sense of how hard the lives of asylum-seekers in Ireland actually are. They face huge difficulties in the fight for basic human rights, which is quite shocking to see in a country where millions of Irish people fled overseas to have a chance at a decent life. Creating a quite difficult atmosphere for those who are seeking a better life for their families like many Irish did in the past, seems quite immoral to deny what was given to the Irish in past by other nations, which is the right to seek for a better life abroad. More effective laws should be brought do deal with asylum-seekers claims, making it faster and more human.

My series of images feature members of the fight against Direct Provision in Ireland. Asylum-seekers, who await decisions on their asylum application, must live in Direct Provision accommodation. At this stage, adults receive €19.10 per week and €15.60 per child although they are not entitled to Child benefit. They cannot work legally at all while waiting for approval for the refugee status.


I chose to photograph Lucky, Ellie and Kyle in a different way which normally a photographer may use to represent issues related to minorities, migration and refugees. Instead, I use colours that connote strength - red, blue and pink - to generate visually rich images and to stay away from the mono tonal which tend to emphasise at atmosphere of victimhood and dehumanize those who only are looking for the right to pursue happiness overseas.

This campaign for the basic human rights for people in Direct Provision is an attempt to reinforce to the Irish government that these families who come from places like Syria, China, Pakistan but mainly Africa in most cases in Direct Provision with children and dreams to fight. However, they may be living in non-human conditions, something that begs the question, would you be happy living in these conditions?

Asylum-seekers and their children have spent years living in an institutional setting that was designed to be a short-term solution only, but in some cases people can spend over a decade here. There are over 1600 children living in the Direct Provision system, 55% have been in the system for over five years.

I wish the world could be a better place where everyone is treated equal and with respect, a more welcoming world to every race with more love for every human being and to have more people falling in love.

- Kyle Phiri

"I wish the world could be..."



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