Photography - Neville Gabie

In November 2005 photographer Neville Gabie was chosen by Art Review Magazine to visit a number Right to Play projects where refugee children and youth in camps around two cities in Pakistan were given the opportunity to practice sports, including football and cricket. The pick of the photographs he took are being exhibited in the Thebes Gallery this week, to mark Refugee Week. “It was an extraordinary privilege to be given access into a world in which I had previous little experience,” he says. The name of the exhibition is Outfield, a carefully chosen title. “This is a description of the outer boundaries of a sports field,” he continues, “but is in this instance also a reference to a society that lives on the margins, with little access to all the things we take for granted in the West."

Gabie found the people he was shooting extremely friendly and welcoming, but he had problems intruding ito their lives with the camera. “The people I met in these refugee camp communities are proud of their culture and heritage and very private in their dealings with the outside world. Photography is not universally welcome. Indeed I found it challenging to work in a way which respected this privacy. I decided in the beginning to focus on the games and the locations, rather than the individuals.” Thus we are faced with compositions we are used to, in an alien environment. The results are striking, and thought provoking, and a million miles from the puffed up glitz of the World Cup images bombarding us every day this month. AG

Outfield of dreams: Neville Gabie photographs Afghan
refugees at play in the Thebes
Thebes Gallery, Church Twitten, Lewes
When? 11am-4pm, until June 25th
How Much? Free
Thebes Gallery
(w) Website