VOlume II

Since the year 2000, more than 30,000 refugees have died
while crossing the Mediterranean Sea. They make the dangerous crossing in pursuit of more secure lives in Europe. Some migrants flee their homes because they are escaping persecution. Others leave because of extreme economic hardship. Though many of them are welcomed warmly upon arriving on European soil, some are faced with discrimination and intolerance. "After Migration" is an ongoing attempt to depict the complicated refugee crisis from a different angle. By portraying migrants in their most regal light, we hope to remind society that nobility is a trait that lies within all of us
--regardless of where we are born.

the waves brought more than suffering onto our sands

there were also windswept wonders
that wore black skin

and walked ashore with the unfamiliar footing of
once-winged angels

were they born
to different mothers
or born
on different soil

they could have worked our boardrooms

wielding the engines that turn our
entire world

but instead, with humble hearts they worked our fields

with hardened hands, they worked our kitchens

and with searching feet, they walked anywhere that would have them

They did all of this
so they could send hope to those they had left behind

some of us sat them
at our tables

and watched
their eyes widen
when the love sprinkled into our mothers’ recipes reminded them of home

some of us avoided them in the streets

and told our children that although these foreigners lived here,

our land would never be their home

the waves brought men, women and children
with a thousand
different stories
to our shores

in their sadness,
there was an
unspoken glory

in their halting speech, there was an
unconquerable grace

for every open palm that asked us for help,

there was
a clenched fist
that held the strength to traverse an angry sea

before crossing an
angrier border

after migration there was salt and struggle

but after migration there was also a sacred certainty

that these
once-winged angels would bring salvation

to those who saw them as brothers and sons
before seeing them as strangers

after migration
they looked
beyond their blindness

after migration
they looked at god

After Migration
(Volume II)

Model: Ousman Pa Manneh
Photography: 10 Leaves
Creative Direction + Copywriting: Walé Oyéjidé
Locale: Rome, Italy